Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri on Sunday urged the Biden administration to cut its $2 trillion infrastructure plan to roughly $615 billion and focus on rebuilding physical infrastructure like roads and bridges.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Blunt – the fourth-ranking Republican in the Senate – argued that only 30% of the president’s proposal focuses on traditional infrastructure and said reducing the price would allow the White House to pass the bill through both chambers of Congress.
“I think there’s an easy win here for the White House if they would take that win, which is make this an infrastructure package, which is about 30% — even if you stretch the definition of infrastructure some — it’s about 30% of the $2.25 trillion we are talking about spending,” Blunt said.
“If we’d go back and look at roads and bridges and ports and airports, and maybe even underground water systems and broadband, you’d still be talking about less than 30% of this entire package,” he added.
“I think 30% is about 615 or so billion dollars,” Blunt said. “I think you can do that and with some innovative things like looking at how we’re going to deal with the electric vehicle use of the highway system, what we can do with public-private partnerships.”
The top Republican’s remarks follow Biden’s introduction of the infrastructure package last week, which focuses on rebuilding roads, bridges and airports, expanding broadband access and fighting climate change through boosting electric vehicle use and updating the country’s electric grid. The proposal also includes increasing the corporate tax rate to 28% to offset spending.
Biden has said that he wants bipartisan support for the plan, but the chances are slim. Republicans have staunchly opposed any tax hikes, arguing they could hinder economic recovery. Republicans have also criticized the package for including initiatives that extend beyond traditional infrastructure issues.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last week that the $2 trillion package would not receive Republican support and vowed to oppose the broader Democratic agenda.