By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will outline how he would pay for his $3 trillion to $4 trillion plan to tackle America’s infrastructure needs on Wednesday, the White House confirmed on Monday, a proposal likely to include tax increases first laid out on the campaign trail.
Biden will lay out the plan, which is aimed at rebuilding roads and bridges as well as tackling climate change and domestic policy issues like income equality, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“The president has a plan to fix the infrastructure of our country … and he has a plan to pay for it,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
She did not elaborate, but some economists and analysts say the proposal may include the biggest overall tax increase in decades. While campaigning for president ahead of the November 2020 election, Biden proposed rolling back corporate tax reduction and increasing taxes on the wealthy.
The plan is likely to trigger heated debate among congressional Democrats and Republicans on taxes and spending, just weeks after Biden used narrow Democratic majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives to gain approval of a $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus bill.
Biden has in the past ruled out raising taxes on individuals making less than $400,000. Other voices in his party have called for a “wealth tax,” and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last week floated the idea of a tax on miles driven.
Studies show a major injection of spending is needed to rebuild America’s crumbling roads, bridges and airports.
Biden’s legislative effort is expected to be split into two parts, an initial package that deals with traditional transportation projects, and a second that addresses domestic priorities, such as universal pre-kindergarten, national childcare and free community college tuition, White House officials say.
(additional reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Chris Reese, Heather Timmons and Sonya Hepinstall)