Bipartisan Senate group rules out tax hikes on infrastructure
By Jordain Carney - 06/09/21 12:24 PM EDT
A bipartisan Senate group is taking tax increases off the table as lawmakers try to craft an infrastructure proposal after GOP talks with the White House collapsed Tuesday.
Raising taxes on high-income earners and corporations has been a key part of President Biden's infrastructure plan, making it nearly impossible to garner enough GOP support for legislation that can clear the Senate.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who is in the bipartisan group, said tax increases are not under consideration as senators attempt to reach consensus on how to pay for their plan.
When asked Wednesday if tax hikes were out, Tester responded: "That's my understanding. I think there's ways to do that; hopefully it won't be smoke and mirrors. Bottom line, this is probably the hardest part from my perspective, is how you get it paid for."
The Montana Democrat stopped short of saying whether he thought the White House would support a proposal that ruled out tax increases, adding "if it's paid for, I think they would be."
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), another member of the bipartisan group, also told reporters on Wednesday that Republicans won't agree to tax increases as part of infrastructure talks.
The group is expected to be looking at a proposal of around $900 billion, but they've been careful not to publicly release a number, saying the level of spending isn't yet locked in. Biden's initial infrastructure proposal exceeded $2.2 trillion.