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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (left) and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Photos: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images (left) and Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo are delivering a pair of speeches Tuesday lobbying the business community to back the entirety of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: While business groups have endorsed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, they're opposed to the concurrent $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package — which would raise taxes on corporations.

  • In choreographing speeches from Yellen and Raimondo, the administration is going on the offensive to convince the public their overall agenda will lead to productivity gains and help grow the economy for all Americans.
  • The $1.2 trillion bill would invest in "hard" infrastructure like roads and bridges. The $3.5 trillion package would spend on so-called “human” infrastructure, including day care, universal preschool and caregivers.
  • “The bipartisan infrastructure bill and Build Back Better are two parts of one economic vision that finally addresses the challenges that have held back families — and, in turn, our economy — for decades," Kate Bedingfield, White House communications director, told Axios.

Driving the news: Raimondo will speak at 11:30am ET at the Economic Club of Washington.

  • Yellen will address the annual meeting of the National Association for Business Economics at 2:30pm ET.

The other side: The Chamber of Commerce, which overwhelmingly supported the bipartisan bill, is running ads in districts represented by moderate House Democrats, urging them to oppose the $3.5 trillion bill, which Democrats plan to pass alone through the reconciliation package.

  • The Business Roundtable also is opposed to the new social spending, and, in particular, the tax increases that Biden has proposed to pay for it.
  • CEO and President Joshua Bolten said it “would put millions of American jobs at risk."

Go deeper: During her remarks, Raimondo will focus on how the package will improve supply chains and make investments in workforce development, an administration official told Axios.

  • The daughter of a factory worker who lost his job when his company relocated to China, the former Rhode Island governor also will tie her personal story to Biden's overall economic agenda.

Between the lines: Yellen will start her morning before the Senate Banking Committee, testifying alongside Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

  • They'll discuss the effects of the roughly $4 trillion in COVID-19 relief spending signed into law by former President Trump.
  • Then, in the afternoon, Yellen will target her Biden remarks on climate change and infrastructure.

Go deeper

Oct 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rich tax may flunk

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The "billionaire tax" and other revenues Democrats want to pay for President Biden's $2 trillion social safety net expansion are about to face a math test from a notoriously hard grader: the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Why it matters: The budget reconciliation instructions require the Senate Finance Committee to offset all the spending it authorizes with the same amount of revenue. Hot air from House and Senate leaders about pay-fors will be replaced by the joint committee's cold arithmetic — and the result is in doubt.

11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden plan expected to include at least $500B for climate

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House is privately telling lawmakers the climate portion of President Biden's roughly $2 trillion social spending plan is "mostly settled" and will likely cost more than $500 billion, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: A price tag of $500 billion to $555 billion is a huge number and, if it holds, would likely be the single biggest component of the sweeping package. It also isn't far off from the roughly $600 billion proposed when the bill was expected to cost $3.5 trillion.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 11, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Pondering Biden's Plan(et) B

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Plan A for the White House is walking into the UN climate summit in Glasgow with a huge new emissions-cutting law from Congress. Plan B is more complicated.

The big picture: It's anyone's guess whether Democrats' reconciliation plan will pass before the summit starts at the end of the month, and if so, whether huge climate investments will be intact.