Board Converting News, April 26, 2021

SBLC Provides Update (CONT’D FROM PAGE 52)

bits and pieces. For example, the Senate leadership has indicated that they hope to have thesurface transporta- tion piece negotiated by the end of May, while the House also plans to be working on its own version of legislation on the same issue. The Democrat leadership is currently eyeing the use of earmarks to get bi-partisan buy in for at least certain portions of an infrastructure proposal. For a bit of history here, the Senate, under the leadership of the Republicans, banned earmarks in 2010 and the House fol- lowed with a similar ban shortly thereafter. In mid-March, House Republicans joined the Democrats to eliminate that ban. Now it is an open question whether any Senate Re- publicans will support this move – and some have directly opposed it introducing legislation to permanently ban ear- marks. While the Administration has said repeatedly that it is open to negotiation and hopes that infrastructure legis- lation will be bi-partisan – the biggest sticking point will almost certainly be over the pay-fors for any potential in- frastructure package. The President’s proposal includes a number of tax changes that the Administration says would pay for the en- tire package over a 15 year period. These changes include increasing the corporate rate from 21 percent to 28 per- cent and establishing a minimum 21 percent tax on foreign income of US companies. Senator Manchin whose vote the Democrats can’t afford to lose has indicated that he

a first step down a long road towards Congress passing a budget by the end of September and as we’ve often seen Congress is free to ignore all or part of the President’s proposal. That said, with both chambers of Congress con- trolled by the same party as the President, the outline does delineate a starting point and, importantly, tees things up for reconciliation in the event any of the President’s other proposals (discussed below) are facing an impasse due to the Senate filibuster (particularly since centrist Democrat Senator Joe Manchin has stated he will not support the elimination of the filibuster). At the end of March, the Administration unveiled a $2.25 trillion infrastructure and public works proposal. The proposal itself has drawn some criticism for its inclusion of a number of items that don’t traditionally come to mind when you think about infrastructure – including funding for workforce development, elder and disability care and schools. The proposal also encompasses more traditional infrastructure priorities like funding for bridges, roads, rail and broadband. Since the proposal’s release the Administration has been making a hard push to garner bi-partisan support. Earlier this week, the President met with a bi-partisan group of lawmakers to discuss the proposal. While the proposal is fairly specific – it has not yet been boiled down to legislative language – which may come in


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April 26, 2021

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