Sen. Thune: GOP Supports Infrastructure Plan That Doesn’t Include ‘Utopian Proposals’

Sen. Thune: GOP Supports Infrastructure Plan That Doesn't Include 'Utopian Proposals' john thune speaks in front of a doorway Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., talks with reporters. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sunday, 11 April 2021 01:25 PM

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., on Sunday said GOP members of Congress would all be on board with a bold Biden administration infrastructure plan — if it’s “confined” to infrastructure and not “utopian proposals.”

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Thune said his state in particular is dependent on roadway upkeep.

“There are Republicans interested in infrastructure… when it’s confined to infrastructure,” he said.

“If [Democrats] are interested in roads, bridges, highways, broadband, there’s a deal to be had there,” he insisted.

But big tax increases for a current plan that is less about infrastructure than social reform would be a disaster, he said.

“I think the tax increases included here are something that would be very crushing to this economy,” he declared, decrying increases on big corporations that have been placed between 21% to 28% on businesses.

‘It doesn’t make sense after we just reformed the tax code in 2017 to make our tax code be competitive … to then raise taxes to be the highest tax-rate country in the world… not a good way to grow our economy and grow jobs,” he said.

Thune said there was "no reason" for the U.S. to now impose "big fat tax increases.”

According to Thune, the “big bold European-style utopian proposals” could be tackled “at a different time.”

“Repurpose some money in all these previous COVID bills,” he suggested. “This would be good use of those funds.”

Republicans have seized on the Biden administration plans as allocating only $650 billion for roads, bridges, highways, and ports — as well as raising the corporate tax rate to 28% and an expanded global minimum tax set at 21%.

President Joe Biden last week said he was willing to accept a rate below 28% so long as the projects are financed and taxes are not increased on people making less than $400,000.

Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable argue that higher taxes would hurt U.S. companies operating worldwide and the wider economy.

Former President Donald Trump's 2017 tax cuts halved corporate tax revenues to 1% of gross domestic product, which is a measure of the total income in the economy. Revenues had previously equaled 2% of GDP.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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