Biden Offers To Lower Corporate Tax Hike To 15% Minimum To Seduce Republicans Into Infrastructure Spending

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden offered to lower his proposed corporate tax rate during discussions with Republicans in an effort to solidify a bipartisan infrastructure plan, Reuters reported.

Biden has pushed to raise corporate taxes to 28%  in an effort to pay for the infrastructure proposal. The tax raise has been a non-starter for Republicans and Biden changing this plan would be a forfeit for the Democratic president, as he’s previously held a hard line on this portion of the proposal.

Biden, during a Wednesday meeting with Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, apparently suggested he’d be open to taking off the increase, The Washington Post reported, citing a person familiar with the talks. Biden “still intends to seek the tax increase.”

Although, she said it may be “outside of the infrastructure debate,” according to the report.

Reuters, citing sources, wrote that Biden offered to drop the corporate tax rates and set a minimum of 15% instead to make sure every company paid taxes. The caveat, however, apparently requires Republicans to compromise with at least a $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan, Reuters added.

The president is still pushing for up for a $1.7 trillion proposal. If agreed upon, the tax change would in part mean that the administration would look to more tax enforcement for funding, Reuters reported. (RELATED: Here’s How Biden’s Spending Could Become A Hidden Tax On Everything You Purchase)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president’s idea “should be completely acceptable” for Republicans wanting the 2017 corporate tax cuts left alone. One thing the administration won’t agree to, according to Psaki, is increasing taxes on those making less than $400,000.

“We’re open to other options,” Psaki said.

Earlier Thursday, Psaki told reporters that Biden has “absolutely not” abandoned the plan to raise the corporate tax rate to 28%, adding that he believes “that corporations can afford to pay a little more.”

When pressed on whether the president’s position is “that he would be willing to do away with this increase in the corporate tax rate if Republicans agreed to a minimum 15% corporate tax rate,” Psaki said to “take a step back.” She continued on to say Biden “believes that we should continue to look at raising the corporate rate” and that “he’s got a lot of ideas out there.”

“The book minimum was in the president’s American Jobs Plan proposal as a proposed pay for,” Psaki said. “It was also in our budget. So, this is not a new idea. This is a component of what he has proposed for a pay-for that he is lifting up as a question as to whether they could agree to that. Because it certainly doesn’t violate anything about the 2017 taxes.”

“[T]he bottom line is that these proposals he’s put forward as pay-fors in the American Jobs Plan, including IRS enforcement which is also in our budget of course, and this book minimum tax, are ways – unless you think corporations shouldn’t pay any tax at all and we will leave that to others to speak to – then there should be a way to find a path to agreement.”