President Joe Biden stated on Monday that his infrastructure and families agendas must be enacted to maintain the economic momentum he has built in his first six months in office, setting the tone for a significant week of legislative talks on the two measures.
However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's Wednesday deadline for a procedural vote on the bipartisan infrastructure measure was in jeopardy, as Republicans said they would likely reject a procedural vote for the time being until specifics are ironed out. Senators are arguing on how to pay for the $1 trillion package of roadway, water system, and other public works projects.
Biden touts his administration's achievements
Prior to the six-month anniversary of his inauguration, President Joe Biden aimed at his Republican critics during a speech focused on the economy, touting his administration's accomplishments. The president took credit for America's recovery from a major economic depression brought about by Covid-19 and associated state limitations on public life during a speech from the White House on Monday; a day before the halfway mark of his first year in office.
He also mocked his Republican detractors for forecasting economic chaos or the development of a socialist stronghold if he were elected over former President Donald Trump; but he did not name them. "Before I took office there were a lot of folks making some pretty bold predictions about how things would turn out," Biden remarked in response to such projections, The Independent via MSN reported.
Biden touted his economic policies and the administration's vaccination efforts as important drivers of faster growth, promising that his remaining agenda items will help Americans work more and earn more money while containing inflation by increasing productivity. Biden claims that the expenditure he proposes would not raise inflation but will relieve inflation pressure.
The President used the address to promote the roughly $600 billion bipartisan infrastructure deal he reached last month in the Senate with Democratic and Republican centrists. The agreement was in peril when Republicans objected to a crucial income source contained in the original agreement: increased IRS enforcement operations to find tax cheaters.
Republicans remain opposed
Per NY Times, officials from the White House and Senate negotiators - 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans - are trying to save it by finding a new income source. Biden also used the speech to promote the second aspect of his program, which Democrats want to pursue without Republican support: a $3.5 trillion plan enacted through the budget reconciliation procedure, which avoids the Senate filibuster. The president frequently highlighted the need for government action in increasing living standards and generating jobs as he described the various social and environmental initiatives he intended to include in the plan.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, called the "spending spree" the last thing American families need. Republicans were urged by McConnell and outside groups such as the conservative Americans for Prosperity to vote no on the bipartisan plan until they had more information. McConnell told reporters at the Capitol, "I think we need to see the bill before we decide whether or not to vote for it."
Biden's speech emphasizes that development is going as planned and is benefiting the middle class in the United States. However, when the economy recovers from the pandemic, much of it is likely to vanish. However, the $973 billion infrastructure deal Biden reached with a bipartisan group of Republican and Democratic senators lack a clear method for funding, as GOP legislators have backed away from IRS tax compliance enforcement.
Senators in the bipartisan group are, instead, discussing repealing a Trump-era restriction on pharmaceutical rebates, which could bring in $170 billion for infrastructure. Senators gathered late Monday with administration officials to discuss future actions, but no decisions were made. After a lengthy session of negotiations with the White House late Sunday, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a senior Republican negotiator, claimed they had settled half of the estimated two dozen unresolved concerns, as per AP News via MSN.