Apr 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden: Infrastructure compromise is "inevitable," but "inaction is not an option"

President Biden addressed Republican opposition to his $2 trillion infrastructure plan on Friday, saying in a speech from the White House: "Compromise is inevitable. Changes to my plan are certain. But inaction is not an option."

Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has vowed to fight against Biden's American Jobs Plan "every step of the way," telling reporters this week that the bill "is not going to get support from our side."

The state of play: The plan is widely expected to be passed through budget reconciliation, which would allow the Senate to bypass the usual 60-vote legislative filibuster.

  • But that still means all 50 Democrats in the Senate will need to support the measure, including moderate Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
  • And some moderate Democrats in the House have already come out against the bill because it does not reinstate the state and local tax deduction, meaning the final package likely needs to change in order to pass.

What they're saying: Biden addressed Friday morning's jobs report showing that the U.S. economy added an eye-popping 916,000 jobs in March, celebrating the progress but stressing that "the fight is far from over"

  • He highlighted the potential for more job creation from the infrastructure proposal, citing a report that says 75% of jobs will be for people who have no more than a high school diploma and some non-degreed training.
  • "It's a blue-collar blueprint for increasing opportunity for people. This is an economic opportunity for those that helped build the country and have been ignored or neglected for much too long by our government," he added.

What to watch: The White House says they'd like to see movement on the bill by Memorial Day.

The big picture: This is the first of two infrastructure packages Biden is expected to roll out. While this one focuses on more traditional infrastructure issues like transportation, the second package is expected to be more of a catchall for the president's priorities.

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