WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of 11 Republicans and ten Democrats in the U.S. Senate have brought forward a compromise infrastructure proposal as both sides of the aisle haggle over an infrastructure plan.
The bill is worth roughly $1.2 trillion, which is far less than the initial four trillion dollar bill which was proposed by President Biden. The compromise also includes a far different approach in how to pay for it.
Sen. Mike Braun, who is not among the bipartisan group, tells Fox News Radio that the different approach may get more Republicans to back the proposal.
“They’re not what I’d call ‘pay for’s’ in essence from common sense back in Indiana,” he said. “When we did an infrastructure bill we had the fortitude to get people to buy into it.”
The pay for’s Braun talks about includes indexing the federal gas tax, meaning adjusting it to keep up with inflation. It would also place a $240 fee to be paid on the purchase of every electric vehicle and would re-purpose leftover COVID relief money.
“Those are real ‘pay for’s,” said Braun. “If they all stay in there and we get to the new spending component and re-purpose some of the unspent COVID, you’re going to get fiscal hawks, like myself, looking at that closely.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is advocating for his own infrastructure bill worth $6 trillion, calls this approach “regressive” and insists that taxes need to be raised on wealthier Americans in order to pay for an infrastructure plan.
One thing Braun likes about the compromise proposal is that it would not raise taxes on anyone. But, his worry is that the negotiations between Republicans and Democrats may not be genuine.
“This could be for show in the discussion of unity and bipartisanship,” Braun said. “We didn’t get one Republican vote on the Rescue Plan, nor was there one (Republican) item incorporated into it.”
The American Rescue Plan was pushed through only by Democrats in the Senate after Republicans reached out to and met with President Biden for a more bipartisan approach.