Monday is the second self-imposed deadline Democrats have created to strike a deal with Republicans on “infrastructure,” and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg acknowledged there is “still lots of daylight” between the two sides.
Buttigieg first said Memorial Day was the date an agreement needed to be reached as some Democrats demanded they go it alone. Then he said June 7 — today — is the date Democrats need “a clear direction.”
But as of now, there is no “clear direction,” and despite Republicans countering with a nearly $1 trillion proposal, there is no agreement in sight.
Buttigieg told Face the Nation Sunday that President Joe Biden (D) will speak on Monday to Sen. Shelley Capito (R-WV), the Republicans’ representative on negotiations.
“There are a lot of conversations going on among a lot of members of the Senate and over on the House side,” Buttigieg said.
“On Wednesday, there’s going to be a markup for a key part, a key element, of infrastructure policy. So lots going on right now, but still lots of daylight, honestly, between us and our Republican friends,” he said.
Buttigieg also said it remains their intent to raise corporate taxes from the current 21 percent rate to pay for the plan.
“That’s still in our plan. And remember, what we’re calling for here is a 28 percent rate. Most of my life, it’s been 35, sometimes higher,” Buttigieg told host John Dickerson.
“And the American business sector has been very competitive, so we’re not calling for high taxes. We’re calling for a reasonable rate of 28.”
To offset the disadvantage created for American companies, the Biden administration is pushing other major countries to hike their own corporate tax rates “because the system right now creates a real incentive to park your profits and sometimes even your jobs overseas,” Buttigieg said.
Biden’s plan “makes once-in-a-century investments that will strengthen our economy and allow us to compete with countries like China,” according to talking points the administration distributed.
The White House acknowledged the tax hike could put American companies at a disadvantage, so it said the Biden administration will lobby foreign governments to raise taxes in their countries to create parity.
“President Biden is also proposing to encourage other countries to adopt strong minimum taxes on corporations, just like the United States, so that foreign corporations aren’t advantaged,” the details said.
The talking points said the intent to raise taxes globally is to end “the race to the bottom around the world.”
On Face the Nation, Buttigieg also proposed “the idea that we have enough enforcement to get companies paying what at least is the sticker rate that they’re responsible for.”