President Biden’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan would provide billions in funding for job creation, roads and bridges, clean energy, affordable housing, high-speed internet, the care economy and more. White House National Economic Council deputy director Bharat Ramamurti joins opinions writer Jonathan Capehart to discuss how the Biden administration plans to build infrastructure for the 21st century, pay for the ambitious eight-year plan, and pass it through Congress to ignite the post-pandemic economy.

Highlights

National Economic Council deputy director Bharat Ramamurti says President Biden plans to bring broadband access to “every home in the country by 2030." "We believe that bringing broadband to every home in the country is good not only for those families that lack it right now, but also good for the economy. The president’s plan is to make a historic investment of up to $100 billion to provide loans, grants, other forms of support both to non-profit entities and for-profit companies to build out broadband to areas that don’t have it now.” (Washington Post Live)
National Economic Council deputy director Bharat Ramamurti says President Biden believes the 28 percent tax on corporations will help the nation’s broken tax system. “Our corporate tax system is broken, and it was made worse by the 2017 tax bill that was passed under the previous administration. If you look at the data as a percentage of our economy, the amount of revenue we’re getting from corporations is about .5 percent. And the U.S. multinational corporations in 2018 paid a tax rate of eight percent, right, way, way less than the average middle class family is going to be paying in taxes.” (Washington Post Live)
National Economic Council deputy director Bharat Ramamurti says President Biden’s infrastructure proposal aims to fix long-standing problems in our country, from replacing lead pipes and revamping our energy grid to expanding support for families through childcare and elder care services. “The goal of this plan is to address long-standing problems that both Democrats and Republicans have acknowledged exist in our economy… If we are dealing with the crippling cost of long-term care, if we’re making it easier for families to care for elderly parents, we are making it easier for them to go to work and return to the workforce, I frankly don’t care if some pundits don’t consider that infrastructure.” (Washington Post Live)
Responding to Sen. Chris Coons' suggestion that Republicans have until May to offer compromises before Democrats move to pass the infrastructure package on their own, he said, “I think that different folks are going to have different timelines. That’s not one I’ve specifically heard from the president. I do think he believes there is urgency here. […] While we are sitting around, other countries, including China, are making quick, large, historic investments in many of these issues. China, as a percentage of their economy, is blowing us out of the water in their investments in infrastructure.” (Washington Post Live)
Ramamurti says President Biden has been meeting with Republicans in an attempt to negotiate the infrastructure package, but he believes the problems facing our country—such as lead pipes still delivering water to over 400,000 schools—are too great to be stalled by partisan gridlock. “[The president] already had two meetings with Republicans to talk about infrastructure…Our hope is we can work with Republicans, including Leader McConnell, to move as much of this as we can through regular order. But I want to keep emphasizing that the president believes we have been talking about these problems for far too long, and the cost of inaction is way too high.” (Washington Post Live)

Bharat Ramamurti

Bharat Ramamurti is a Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. He previously served as a Member of the Congressional Oversight Commission for the CARES Act, and as the Managing Director of the Corporate Power program at the Roosevelt Institute. He was the top economic adviser on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign, and served as senior counsel for banking and economic policy in her Senate office. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.