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Biden says $ 2 trillion jobs plan rivals space race in ambition

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PITTSBURGH – President Joe Biden on Wednesday called for massive use of government power to reshape the world’s largest economy and counter China’s rise to power in a more than US $ 2 trillion proposal that has met with Republican resistance quick.

President’s “American Jobs Plan” Would Put American Businesses at Risk as Government Creates Millions of Jobs in Building Infrastructure, Such as Roads, Tackling Climate Change, and Strengthening Human Services such as care for the elderly.

“It’s a unique investment in America, unlike anything we’ve seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago,” Biden said during the unveiling of the program. in Pittsburgh.

He said he had no problem asking businesses to foot the bill and that he will “shut down” Amazon.com Inc and other large companies that pay little or nothing in federal taxes.

Biden’s second multibillion-dollar legislative proposal in two months in office paves the way for a partisan clash in the U.S. Congress, where members broadly agree that investment is needed but are divided over the total size and inclusion of the programs. traditionally regarded as social services.

Another economic proposal Biden releases in April could add an additional $ 2 trillion to the total price.

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Coupled with its recently adopted $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief program, Biden’s infrastructure initiative would give the federal government a bigger role in the U.S. economy than it has had in recent decades. generations, representing 20% ​​or more of annual production.

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Biden’s team believe a government-led effort to strengthen the economy is the best way to support an economy trapped by the coronavirus pandemic and deal with increased competition and a security threat national level posed by China.

The proposal has been given a cold reception by the Conservatives and the big business groups.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said the proposal was “another Trojan horse for far-left claims” a day after Biden called to brief the minority leader on the proposal. McConnell said raising taxes “will kill jobs and slow wage growth when workers need a quick recovery.”

PAY FOR THIS

Biden is ignoring an election promise to raise taxes for the rich, at least for now.

Instead, according to a 25-page White House backgrounder, the plan would increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and amend the tax code to close loopholes that allow companies to shift their profits to abroad.

Biden said the goal was not to “target” companies but to address divisions and inequalities made worse by the pandemic.

The plan would spread the cost of the projects over an eight-year period and aims to pay everything off over 15 years, without adding to the country’s long-term debt, the White House said.

Neil Bradley, policy director for the nation’s largest trading group, the US Chamber of Commerce, said while the organization shares Biden’s sense of infrastructure urgency, his plan is “dangerously flawed.”

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“We strongly oppose the general tax increases proposed by the administration, which will slow the economic recovery and make the United States less competitive globally,” Bradley said.

The plan includes US $ 621 billion to rebuild infrastructure, such as bridges, highways and ports, and a historic investment of US $ 174 billion in the electric vehicle market that sets the goal of building a network of nationwide recharge by 2030.

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The program’s focus on union-represented jobs and climate change mitigation projects would achieve long-sought liberal goals.

Administration officials also said they hoped to address economic inequalities created by racial discrimination, for example by reducing air pollution that affects black and Hispanic communities near ports or power plants. .

Congress will be asked to invest US $ 400 billion in expanding access to affordable community care for aging Americans and people with disabilities. It is aimed at low-wage workers in this sector, who are disproportionately women of color.

There is US $ 213 billion included to build and renovate ecologically sustainable homes, as well as hundreds of billions to support American manufacturing, strengthen the country’s electricity grid, adopt nationwide broadband broadband, and reorganize the country’s drinking water systems.

ANOTHER PROPOSAL TO COME

Biden is moving forward with the economic plan while trying to deliver on his promises to provide enough COVID-19 vaccines for all American adults by the end of May. The White House is also facing an increase in the number of migrants on the southern border and the fallout from the consecutive mass shootings.

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The plan is part of the “Rebuild Better” program that the administration intends to put in place. A second legislative package marketed to help families is expected within a few weeks.

This program should include the expansion of health insurance coverage and child tax benefits, as well as paid family and medical leave.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that she hopes to pass the infrastructure plan by July 4, although that deadline can easily pass as narrow-majority Democrats in the House and in the Senate are rushing to strike a deal on the details.

The jockey has already started. Moderate Democrats said the package should be more focused on traditional infrastructure projects to attract Republican votes. Liberal lawmakers want to tackle climate change and economic inequality with resources that reflect the scale of these challenges.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, one of the main liberal Democrats, said on Tuesday that Biden’s proposal as a presidential candidate was between US $ 6.5 trillion and US $ 11 trillion over 10 years.

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“We would like to see a plan that goes big,” Jayapal said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Jarrett Renshaw; Writing by Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by Richard Cowan, David Morgan and Makini Brice; Editing by Dan Burns, Sonya Hepinstall and Peter Cooney)

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