Sen. Wicker Complains Biden Infrastructure Plan Mostly Aimed At Social Welfare Programs

Sen. Wicker Complains Biden Infrastructure Plan Mostly Aimed At Social Welfare Programs roger wicker speaks in front of a group  legislators Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., talks to reporters. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sunday, 11 April 2021 10:40 AM

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., on Sunday derided the President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, saying 70% of it is for “social welfare programs.”

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Wicker urged Biden to come to the negotiating table on Monday with “something different from what we had on the rescue plan.”

“We are willing to negotiate with him on an infrastructure package, and this trillion dollar number is way too high for me,” Wicker said. “Negotiation has to be something different from what we had on the rescue plan. The president offered $1.9 trillion. Republicans came back with $600 billion, and the president said, that's not good enough. Make me another offer. … that is normally not the way negotiations go.”

“The president should have come back with a counteroffer, and if he will do that with the Republicans that are meeting with him in the White House [on Monday], I think we can get somewhere and have a much bigger infrastructure package than we were able to do under the last administration. … Then we'll talk about these social welfare programs that make up 70% of this new package that the president is calling infrastructure.”

According to Wicker, Americans voted for Biden because he’s a centrist.

“Americans voted for a pragmatic moderate that they thought Joe Biden was,” he said, adding the massive infrastructure plan that “by any stretch of the imagination can’t be called infrastructure —that's on top of what a few weeks ago was not COVID-related.”

“Where does the spending end?” he asked. “This is a massive social welfare spending program combined with a massive tax increase on small business job creators.”

“I can't think of a worse tax to put on the American people than — than to raise taxes on small business job creators, which is what this bill would do,” he added.

The Biden administration says its plan would provide billions of dollars to rebuild such structures as roads, bridges, and tunnels while also funding efforts to transition the United States away from the use of fossil fuels.

But Wicker has recently called the rise in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% that’s also part of the package “a big mistake for the administration,” saying the proposal represented "a repeal of one of our signature issues in 2017," referring to the GOP tax reform bill.

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