Biden backs bumper economic stimulus bill – with big caveat

Biden backs bumper economic stimulus bill - with big caveat
Mr Biden spoke to reporters after negotiations at the White House on Thursday. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The US Senate has struck an agreement for a 1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill in what could herald a legislative victory for President Joe Biden.

“We have a deal,” said president Biden after meeting the cross-party group of senators at the White House.

The eight-year plan includes funding for bridges, roads, public transport, the power grid and internet.

But the deal is far from done as the president said it depends on if Democrats can pass another, bigger spending bill.

Mr Biden on Friday praised the group of five Republican and five Democratic senators whom he met earlier, and promised the package would generate “millions” of jobs.

The investments are long overdue, said president Biden, who has persisted with the cross-party negotiations despite the scepticism and impatience of some in his Democratic party.

Mr Biden said: “We’re in a race with China and the rest of the world for the 21st Century,” adding: “This agreement signals to the world that we can function, deliver and do significant things.”

Less than half the money in the eight-year proposal is new spending, which includes $109bn for bridges and roads, $49bn for public transport, $66bn for railways and $25bn for airports, according to a White House statement.

A further $65bn for expanding Americans’ access to broadband internet and $73bn would be pumped into power grid.

The package is meant to be paid for with unused Covid-19 aid money and returned state jobless benefits.

Democrats also argue the bill’s proposed $40bn investment in the Internal Revenue Service for beefed-up enforcement would generate a net gain of $100bn in extra tax revenue.

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