Washington is still digesting the multi-trillion dollar infrastructure plan President Biden laid out Wednesday. The plan, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, has a long hard road ahead of it, already facing opposition from the left, center, and right. Still, Biden is forging ahead on this priority that his administration says cannot wait.
"It's a once-in-a-generation investment in America unlike anything we've seen or done since we built the interstate highways system and the space race decades ago," President Biden said during a speech in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
"I'll begin with the heart of the plan. It modernizes transportation infrastructure. Our roads, our bridges, our airports."
That includes projects like replacing lead piping across the country, 5,000 charging stations for electric cars, improving the nation's power grid, and a focus on research and development. "Markets like battery technology, biotechnology, computer chips, and clean energy in competition with China in particular," Biden said.
In the process, the president said, scores of Americans will be put to work. "Not a contract will go out that I control that will go to a company that is not an American company with American products that will do all the way down the line and American workers," Biden said.
The price tag? About $2 trillion spread over 8 years. The Biden payment plan? Tax increases for those making more than $400,000 a year as well as businesses.
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"This is not to target those who made it, not to seek retribution. This is about opening opportunities for everybody else," Biden said. "We're going to raise the corporate tax. No one should complain about that, it's still lower than what that rate was between World War Two and 2017."
The president also wants to close loopholes that allow Fortune 500 companies to escape paying taxes and eliminate deductions for corporations that take jobs overseas. "It's honest, it's fiscally responsible," the president declared.
But South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said, "It is really not an honest conversation we're having about what this proposal is."
Noem said she's taken part in a call with governors around the country about the president's proposal. "I was shocked by how much doesn't go into infrastructure. It goes into research and development, it goes into housing and pipes different initiatives, green energy," she said. "And we're going to be back here a couple of years from now wishing that we weren't in a situation where people have less money."
Joel Griffith with the Heritage Foundation told CBN not only will the plan hurt the economy, but it also won't deliver what Biden is selling.
"This is really a green new deal through a back door," Griffith said. "The vast majority of this is actually to implement a socialist, far-left agenda. Buried within this plan are actually hundreds of billions of dollars to reorient our entire energy system."
Even NPR reports, "The messaging is not subtle... the Biden administration is confident this focus on jobs will grow public support for the plan and blunt the usual criticisms of environmental proposals as expensive job killers."
Sam Graves, the top Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Biden has mislabeled his green plan as an infrastructure and jobs plan. "A transportation bill, I think, needs to be a transportation bill, not a green new deal. It needs to be about roads and bridges," Graves said.
But Biden insisted on Wednesday, "In 50 years, people are going to look back and say, this was the moment that America won the future."
A group of top Republicans has come together to form a coalition to push back against what they believe would be unavoidable tax hikes under Biden's plan. Meanwhile, the President will hold his first Cabinet meeting Thursday, just hours after one of the biggest speeches of his first 100 days. The president says he will unveil his second infrastructure plan, dubbed the American Family Plan, in the days to come.