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Complaining About Corporate Tax Hike, McConnell Admits GOP Won't Support Biden Infrastructure Plan

The Kentucky Republican vowed to fight the president's proposal "every step of the way."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to the media after the Republican leaders' weekly lunch at the U.S. Capitol on March 23, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to the media after the Republican leaders' weekly lunch at the U.S. Capitol on March 23, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Objecting specifically to the plan's call for a corporate tax increase, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that no members of his caucus will support President Joe Biden's newly released infrastructure package.

In an effort to fund roughly $2.3 trillion in spending over the next eight years, Biden's proposal would hike the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%—partially reversing the corporate rate cut that McConnell shepherded through Congress in 2017—and take steps to prevent companies from dodging their U.S. tax obligations by shifting jobs and profits overseas.

"Voters gave us the White House, the Senate, and the House to deliver bold change—not to adhere to arcane Senate rules that most members of Congress don't even understand."
—Rep. Pramila Jayapal

"That package that they're putting together now, as much as we would like to address infrastructure, is not going to get support from our side," McConnell told reporters Thursday. "Because I think the last thing the economy needs right now is a big, whopping tax increase."

Vowing to fight Biden's proposal "every step of the way," the Kentucky Republican went on to lament that "but for one seat in Georgia, I would be setting the agenda," referring to Democratic runoff victories in January that wrenched control of the Senate from the GOP.

McConnell's gripe about the corporate tax increases proposed in Biden's plan was echoed by other Republicans on Wednesday as the president outlined his proposal in a speech in Pittsburgh.

"Raising taxes in the middle of an economic crisis is incredibly misguided," Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho), the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement.

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Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas.), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, went further, calling the proposed tax increases the "biggest economic blunder of our lifetime."

The GOP's strident opposition to Biden's proposal further confirmed that Democrats will have to pass the legislation on their own, either by using the restrictive budget reconciliation process—which leaves provisions vulnerable to the Senate parliamentarian—or heeding progressive demands to abolish the filibuster.

"Voters gave us the White House, the Senate, and the House to deliver bold change—not to adhere to arcane Senate rules that most members of Congress don't even understand," Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), tweeted Thursday. "We have to override the parliamentarian or eliminate the filibuster, whichever it takes."

As Common Dreams reported earlier Thursday, members of the CPC are demanding a far more sweeping infrastructure, climate, and healthcare package than the one Biden has proposed, with some lawmakers calling for up to $10 trillion in spending over the next decade.

"That may be an eye-popping figure for some people," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said late Wednesday. "But we need to understand that we are in a devastating economic moment, millions of people in the United States are unemployed, we have a truly crippled healthcare system, and a planetary crisis on our hands—and we're the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. So, we can do $10 trillion."

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