The latest assignment of the US Congress comes in the form of a discussion on Biden’s infrastructure plan as the legislature moves forward to debate this all-important plan.
Unveiling a sparkling and ambitious infrastructure plan worth $2 trillion, President Joe Biden vows to increase the Internet speed across the United States, improve the quality of water, reform the physical outlook of schools, and change the way the US produces electricity.
The plan also aims to scale up renewable energy production along with eradicating the menace of racial discrimination.
As Biden met with a group of bipartisan lawmakers in the White House, the president sought Republican unity once again.
The plan is also known as the “American jobs plan.” While Biden wants this plan approved before the end of summer, more meetings are expected soon by Biden, where he can adjust to Republican proposed compromises in the plan.
Even before the start of Senate negotiations, Biden seems to retract from his ambitions as he said,
“All kidding aside, I’m prepared to negotiate the extent of my infrastructure project, as well as how we pay for it. I am not big on window dressing, as you’ve observed.”
Seeing Biden’s softness of rethinking the payment for the plan, Republicans are expected to exploit the situation once again.
Perhaps Biden should recall that he is currently in a position to pass the bill even without Republican support.
In their bid to launch an assault on the Democratic ambitions to improve the infrastructure, Republicans are looking to politicize the matter.
As the Senate starts discussing the matter, Republicans can politicize the issue playing across several lines.
Firstly, they can stagnate the proceedings, saying that a tax increase is not acceptable at all. Secondly, they can even politicize renewable energy production, labeling it an unfeasible energy production design.
However, the Senate Democrats are already in a driving position, as they have a budget reconciliation in their hands that can help them pass the plan by a mere vote count of 51 instead of 60.
What is Biden’s infrastructure plan, and why do Republicans object to it. What can we expect of the Senate hearing? Let’s see.
Biden’s $2 trillion Development Plan: A Road Map to Heal the Infrastructure
As the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package starts providing relief to the masses, the announced infrastructure plan of President Joe Biden is aiming to bring structural changes to the existing system.
The proposed plan will envision a broader upgrade of infrastructure rather than just repairing roads and bridges.
This plan includes a variety of proposals, ranging from reduction of carbon emission to raising taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000 a year. The deconstruction of this infrastructure plan goes something like this.
- $115 billion to repair roads, bridges, and highways.
- $100 billion to increase broadband Internet quality across the country.
- $100 for school upgrades along with building new schools.
- $100 billion to expand and improve power lines and initiatives to shift toward clean and green energy sources.
Republicans Politicizing Infrastructure Plan
The opposition from the Republican governors is already making the matter worse. It means that they can try to put roadblocks in the plan even if it’s approved.
Republicans can bounce back with their countermeasures in the Red states, overriding Biden’s plan.
The assertion of the Mississippi Republican governor to blame the plan as a tax hike scheme speaks volumes about this.
This is not only the opinion of the Mississippi governor, but the majority of Republicans opine along the same line.
Republican Senator Roy Blunt said that when people think about the infrastructure, they imagine roads and bridges, but unfortunately, the proposed plan contains more about electric vehicles and the Internet than for highways and bridges.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would use his full strength to fight this package because it is not the right prescription for the United States.
He also made it clear that this package is not going to get any support from Republican benches.
Republicans do not want the inclusion of projects other than roads and bridges in the plan. However, the need for the other projects is even higher considering the changing dynamics of infrastructure in modern times.
So, Republicans may end up protesting against the plans that are much needed for the betterment of the general public.
Most of the Republican opinions are driven by the election campaign of the former president Donald Trump, who never advocated the need for the alternate energy plan despite the urgency of the climate change issue.
As this is the first developmental plan under Biden’s presidency, Democrats will be motivated enough to find a way to pass this plan through the Senate, even without Republicans’ support.
Now, when Biden has already invited Republicans to talk, they are in the driver’s seat as they have started pitching their ambitions.
Republican representative Liz Cheney said,
“The bill would need to be fundamentally redone. So much of it is unnecessary.”
Despite Biden’s bid to seek Republican unity on various occasions, Republicans have time and again tried to block his path, and this time it seems a similar situation.
If Biden bows in front of Republicans, he will not be able to portray the message of a strong statesman. Instead, he will be compromising on the initial draft of the bill, which he could even pass without Republicans’ support.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already said that Democrats are seeking a legislative option of bipartisan discussion in Congress instead of sweeping measures like a reconciliation plan.
If Republicans are wise enough, they will try to compromise on the bill and get some of their provisions included in the bill.
Otherwise, the Democrats are already going to get it passed with the budget reconciliation, as Speaker Pelosi said,
“If we have to go to reconciliation, that’s a lever, but I hope it’s not something that we need to do.”