Roy Blunt Says Biden Could Easily Pass Infrastructure Bill with Narrower Focus

Policy

Sen. Roy Blunt listens during a confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., January 21, 2021.
(Stefani Reynolds/Reuters)

Senator Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) said that the Biden administration could pass an infrastructure bill as long as the legislation deals solely with infrastructure, in an interview on Fox News Sunday.

“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 percent, even if you stretch the definition of infrastructure some, it’s about 30 percent of the $2.25 trillion we are talking about spending,” Blunt told host Chris Wallace.

Currently, however, Democrats are “trying to take 70 percent of this bill and call it infrastructure in a new way than we’ve ever talked about infrastructure before,” Blunt said. “That means you’re looking at another partisan package just like we had with Covid.”

Blunt’s comments came about two hours before Biden economic adviser Cecilia Rouse called to “upgrade” the meaning of infrastructure.

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“I think it’s important that we upgrade our definition of infrastructure, one that meets the needs of a 21st century economy,” Rouse, chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “That means we need to be funding and incentivizing those structures that allow us to maximize our economic activity.”

Rouse cited electric vehicles and green energy as examples of what the U.S. government should “incentivize.”

President Biden announced his administration’s $2 trillion plan last week, describing it as a “once in a generation investment in America.” Republicans have opposed to the plan in part because various funds included in the package do not go towards physical infrastructure, such as $400 billion allocated to fund in-home care.

Republicans have also criticized the tax increases included in the plan, including raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.

“My view of infrastructure is that we ought to build that which we can afford and not either whack the economy with major tax increases or run up the national debt even more,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on Thursday.

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