Biden hopes to pass infrastructure bill in summer McConnell vows to oppose

Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., March 18, 2021, regarding the administration’s response to the Chinese Communist virus.

President Biden wants to see Congress pass his infrastructure and climate proposals by this summer, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday (April 1). That’s a slightly longer timeline than the one he set when he previously unveiled his plan for epidemic relief.

These slightly longer timelines will allow the White House to negotiate more with Republicans and Democrats in Congress, Psaki told reporters at a news conference that afternoon. In particular, the legislation is not as urgent as the “American Rescue Plan” signed into law last month.

Still, she said, Biden hopes to see “progress” by the end of May.

“The U.S. rescue plan is an emergency package, and we need to get it done as soon as possible in order to contain the outbreak, get relief and be directly accountable to the American people,” Psaki said.

She added, “And on this issue, we have more time and discussions with members of both parties.” “We want to see progress by Memorial Day, and we want to see this passed by the summer. And I certainly hope that when Congress returns from its vacation, the president will invite members to the Oval Office.”

Still, the timeline is considered an ambitious package and a bill that could take months to pass.

But on Thursday, hopes that Biden’s infrastructure package might garner bipartisan support took a hard hit.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, announced to reporters in the media that the $2 trillion-plus plan unveiled by the White House on Wednesday “will not have the support of our side.

The proposal is believed to include funding for roads, bridges, airports, broadband, water systems, electric vehicles and job training programs, and an increase in the corporate income tax rate to 28 percent to offset the spending. Biden already passed his first major proposal – a $1.9 trillion epidemic relief package – last month.

The Republican also vowed to oppose a broader Democratic agenda under Biden. “I’m going to fight them step by step because I think that’s the wrong medicine for America,” McConnell said at a news conference in Kentucky.

Unless 10 Republicans break with McConnell and switch to Biden, Biden will need to revise the plan in order to win the Republican vote. McConnell’s comments almost certainly mean that Democrats will have to use the budget reconciliation process to bypass Republicans and pass the infrastructure bill alone.

Biden has already said he hopes to win Republican support for the plan. But Republicans oppose any tax increases, which they say could hamper the U.S. economic recovery.

In response to McConnell’s comments Thursday, White House press secretary Leonardo Psaki questioned the Republican Senate leader about whether he agrees that the U.S. needs to update its infrastructure and expand broadband access. She said Democrats and Republicans need to resolve their differences on how to pay for the plan.