Coons says bipartisan infrastructure package 'likely' to be smaller, not fully financed
By Niv Elis - 04/07/21 04:01 PM EDT
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a close ally of President Biden, suggested Wednesday that Congress may not fully cover the costs of Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, and that the size of the package could come down in order to secure bipartisan support.
In an interview with Punchbowl News, Coons detailed some options and possible areas of cooperation and compromise with Republicans on the bill, such as a smaller increase to the corporate tax rate or eliminating loopholes for large, multinational corporations.
"The other option, frankly, is to not fully pay for it," he said, noting that Congress had approved $4 trillion in deficit-financed COVID-19 relief on a bipartisan basis before Democrats approved an additional $1.9 trillion last month along party lines.
"In the choice between raising taxes significantly and simply looking at each other and saying 'we need a robust recovery,' I think it's more likely we'll have a package that is not paid for, and that is less robust but still putting hundreds of billions of dollars into infrastructure," he continued.
Coons said that "several fairly seasoned senior Republicans" told him they were willing to support a $1 trillion infrastructure package and pay for some of it but objected to Biden's plan to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.
Some, he noted, were supportive of using a gas and mileage tax to pay for the plan, an idea Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg briefly floated before scrapping.