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Major concession to GOP, Biden offers not to raise corporate tax rate

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Joe Biden (File photo)

US President Joe Biden has offered to scrap his plans to raise the corporate tax rate to pay for a bipartisan infrastructure package which totals at least $1 trillion.

In a major concession to Republicans, Biden proposed that instead of raising corporate tax to 28% from 21% as he originally planned, legislators set a minimum tax rate that corporations should pay instead at 15%, two sources told The Washington Post on Thursday.

The Democratic president's latest infrastructure counteroffer would leave intact 2017 tax cuts that Republicans oppose unwinding.

He made the offer during a one-on-one meeting Wednesday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., who is the lead negotiator of a group of six Republicans talking to the White House.

"He is personally leaning in, willing to compromise, spending time with senators - Democrat and Republican - to find out what is the art of the possible," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNN in an interview on Thursday.

"The only thing he won't accept is inaction," she said. "It has to be big and bold, $1 trillion or more."

The infrastructure package Biden originally had proposed would cost $2.25 trillion, paid for by raising taxes on the United States’ wealthiest citizens.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday, "This should be completely acceptable to a number of Republicans who have said that their bottomline is they want to keep the 2017 tax law untouched."

Psaki, however, noted that Biden has not dropped his plan to raise the corporate tax rate to pay for future proposals such as a $1.8 trillion families plan which includes subsidized child care and universal pre-kindergarten.

“Absolutely not," Psaki said. "What the president believes is that corporations can afford to pay a little bit more. And that's a way we can pay for a range of the bold proposals that he has put forward."

She went on to say that "we're open to other options" as long as Republicans do not increase taxes on people making less than $400,000.


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