Biden said Wednesday that he is open to compromise on his $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan — including paying for it with an increase in the corporate tax rate — but that “inaction simply is not an option.”
Facing criticism from Republicans, Biden also defended his expansive definition of infrastructure in remarks at the White House about his sweeping proposal, saying, “The idea of infrastructure has always evolved to meet the aspirations of an American people and their needs.”
Biden said his plan includes improvements to traditional infrastructure — such as roads, bridges, ports, airports and rail — but that today’s needs also include high-speed Internet, a reliable electric grid and clean drinking water.
“I take my view, we are America,” Biden said. “We don’t just fix today. We build for tomorrow.”
Biden has proposed paying for his plan in part by raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, partly reversing a cut from 35 percent pushed through by President Donald Trump and Republicans in 2017.
He said he is open to ideas from Republicans and others on how to pay for the plan but grew passionate as he insisted that the middle class should not shoulder the burden.
“I’m not trying to punish anybody, but damn it, maybe it’s because I come from a middle-class neighborhood,” he said. “I’m sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced.”
Biden said that he and Harris would be meeting with Democrats and Republicans in coming weeks.
“Any Republican who wants to get this done, I invite them,” he said.