Infrastructure Deal Is Back on Track After Biden’s Assurances

For now, the bipartisan deal seems to be having the effect on Democrats that Mr. Biden and party leaders on Capitol Hill were hoping for,...


For now, the bipartisan deal seems to be having the effect on Democrats that Mr. Biden and party leaders on Capitol Hill were hoping for, as well. Democratic leaders are trying to hold together the narrowest of majorities in the House and the Senate, and some of their most moderate members insisted on trying to find bipartisan common ground on the president’s vast domestic agenda wherever they could.

Pleased that a bipartisan package he helped craft would be moving forward, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a key Democratic swing vote, said on Sunday that he was prepared to back a larger bill using the fast-track process to get around Republicans. He said he was “all for” using it to address “human infrastructure” and was willing to raise corporate tax rates to 25 percent from 21 percent, and capital gains taxes to 28 percent for top earners to finance it.

“We’ve worked on the one track. We’re going to work on the second track. There’s an awful lot of need,” Mr. Manchin said on ABC.

But Mr. Manchin dismissed financing the spending with more debt, as prominent liberals like Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, have argued. And citing concerns about the nation’s debt, he said the kind of overall price tag Mr. Sanders was pushing was simply too high for him.

“If Republicans don’t want to make adjustments to a tax code which I think is weighted and unfair, then I’m willing to go reconciliation,” Mr. Manchin said. “But if they think in reconciliation I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go to $5 trillion or $6 trillion when we can only afford $1 trillion or $1.5 trillion or maybe $2 trillion and what we can pay for, then I can’t be there.”

That position foreshadows a bumpy road still ahead for Democrats. With their party’s hold on Washington potentially fleeting, progressives are adamant that this might represent their best and only chance to enact key policy planks like expanded health care access, aggressive climate policy and durable new social programs to support working Americans.

“Frankly, we really need to understand that this is our one big shot, not just in terms of family, child care, Medicare, but on climate change,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, said on “Meet the Press.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Infrastructure Deal Is Back on Track After Biden’s Assurances
Infrastructure Deal Is Back on Track After Biden’s Assurances
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