OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Joe Biden has said that he wants to be an uniter, but before he starts attempting to unite Republicans and Democrats, he should work on uniting his own party.
Biden wants to pass a $2 trillion infrastructure plan but critics of the plan say that not everything in it has to do with traditional infrastructure and many believe that raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent is a non-starter. Among them is Democrat West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, CNN reported.
“As the bill exists today, it needs to be changed,” he said to West Virginia Metro News host Hoppy Kercheval in an interview when he was asked about Biden’s infrastructure plan.
Manchin said he is against raising the current 21% corporate tax rate — which was put in place by the 2017 tax overhaul under the Trump administration — to 28% as called for in the bill and instead supports a middle ground 25% rate, which he called “fair.”
The West Virginia senator said he would use the “leverage” he has in the 50-50 Senate to demand changes before voting to take up the bill, which has been introduced but expected to go through weeks or months of negotiations before being debated on the floor.
Manchin flexed his muscle in the interview saying that if he does not vote for the bill it is not getting done.
“If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going anywhere. So we’re going to have some leverage here. And it’s more than just me, Hoppy. There are six or seven other Democrats who feel very strongly about this. We have to be competitive and we’re not going to throw caution to the wind,” the senator said, but he did not say who the other Democrats are.
The senator wants to work with Republicans on the infrastructure bill and have it be bipartisan he said.
“We have to have our Republican friends work with us too,” he said. “They just can’t be against everything thinking this going to be political posturing we are going to take for the 2022 elections.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’ said that Republicans back infrastructure but not new taxes to pay for it.
But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki argued that businesses can handle the 7 percent tax raise.
“And when you consider that timeline, certainly there are Democrats, and especially the most progressive Democrats, who would like to see the ability to get this done quickly in order to touch on some of the other priorities that are in different topic areas,” she was asked by a reporter during a White House press briefing last week.
“Is there a real sense, though, that you can work with Republicans when the Leader says, ‘There will be no support’; when the House Republican Leader, Kevin McCarthy, says, ‘We love infrastructure, but we don’t like this tax idea’? Is there any room left?”
“I think that’s a question for them. They support investment in infrastructure. Right? They believe we need to do more to compete with China. Maybe they don’t believe we should pay for it. If so, they should say that. Maybe they have different alternative ideas,” she said.
“There have been some proposals out there about user fees or gas taxes, essentially. We don’t agree with that. We don’t believe that the cost should be on the backs of the American people. We believe that corporations should be able to bear the brunt of investing in America’s workers. But they can come forward with their ideas.
“We believe we can start from a place where we agree,” she said.