PRESS RELEASE: GOP ENTERS “BIG FOUR” MEETING AFTER WEEKS OF TRYING TO SABOTAGE ANY REASONABLE DEAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2021

Contact: 
Maddy McDaniel, Communications Director

[email protected] or 914-471-7716

GOP ENTERS “BIG FOUR” MEETING AFTER WEEKS OF TRYING TO SABOTAGE ANY REASONABLE DEAL  

Biden Made More Than 500 Calls To Lawmakers & Staff Of Both Parties To Try To Craft Reasonable Deal

Unfortunately, He’s Been Met By Attacks & Unserious Non-Starters:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “100% Of My Focus Is On Stopping This New Administration”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): “If You Want To Fix Roads And Bridges, Come Where Republicans Already Are”

Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) Offered Unserious Counter-Proposal That Draws “Red Line” In Favor Of Shifting Tax Burden From Corporations To The Middle-Class Tax

Even Large Majorities of Republican Voters Oppose GOP Poison Pills Including Gas Taxes (68%) And User Fees (61%)

Voters Prefer $2.2 Trillion American Jobs Plan to a Counter-Proposal Similar To What Was Offered By GOP By A +26 Point Margin

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Today, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate joined President Biden for a meeting in the Oval Office to negotiate a bipartisan compromise on the job-creating American Jobs Plan.

Despite the Biden administration’s willingness to seek a bipartisan deal on the Build Back Better agenda, Senate Republicans have consistently tried to sabotage negotiations for the American Jobs and Families Plans — refusing to budge from their unacceptable cuts to funding for schools, caregiving, public transit, manufacturing, and clean energy; drawing absurd lines in the sand to protect corporations; attempting to saddle the bill with poison pills shifting the tax burden to middle class Americans; and flip-flopping on their support for key elements of the plans. 

Invest in America Action senior advisor Zac Petkanas released the following statement: 

“Bipartisanship has to be a two-way street — but all Republicans have done so far is put up roadblocks. 

“Eliminating key investments that will grow our economy while simultaneously demanding  middle-class tax hikes like a gas tax and user-fees are intended to sabotage negotiations and ensure a deal cannot be reached. With millions of Americans relying on the job-creating investments in the American Jobs and Families Plans, our nation cannot afford to wait around for Republicans’ games — especially when they are telling us they have no serious interest in compromise.”

President Biden has consistently opened the door for bipartisan negotiation, logging more than 500 phone calls or meetings with lawmakers and their staff to discuss the plan. 

Here’s what Republicans have done in response: 

Committed to sabotaging President Biden’s agenda at all costs: 

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “100% of my focus is on stopping this new administration. What we have in the United States Senate is total unity from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz in opposition to what the new Biden administration is trying to do to this country.”  [Press Conference, 5/5/21]
Put up roadblocks to protect their corporate donors and stonewall the negotiations process: 
  • Sen. Barrasso (R-WY): “There is a red line for the Republicans in our proposal to the White House, and that is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 […] We will not be touching that, period.” [Roll Call, 5/11/21]
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV): “I voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act […] I think that’s a non-negotiable red line […] For me personally, that’s a non-starter.” [The Hill, 4/15/21]
Offered unpopular poison pills intended to kill any deal by shifting the tax burden from corporations to middle class Americans: 
  • Sen. McConnell: The way to pay for infrastructure is through the gas tax that already exists. Whatever gap between that and what we’re willing to spend needs to be credibly paid for. The best way to pay for infrastructure is with the people who use it. Not revisiting the tax bill in a way that creates additional problems for the economy.” [KET Interview, 5/9/21]
  • 59% of voters, including 66% of Independents and 68% of Republicans, oppose gas taxes to fund infrastructure investments, and 56% of voters, including 60% of Independents and 61% of Republicans, oppose user-fees.
Refused to consider any compromise on their meager counter-proposal: 
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): “If you want to fix roads and bridges, come where Republicans already are.” [Fox News Sunday, 5/2/21]
  • Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS):
    • “There will not be one Republican vote […] I don’t think it’s really realistic to go up much higher” [Politico, 5/11/21]
    • “$800 billion is the ‘absolute upper limit’ on what Republicans may accept” [Twitter, 5/11/21]
Trash-talked the American Jobs and Families Plan: 
  • Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO): “It’s not an infrastructure bill, it’s a liberal wish list” [Twitter, 4/22/21]
  • Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA): “Would the President prefer this giant, new, multi-trillion dollar latest way to make more people dependent on government? Yes, I’m sure. But if they’re gonna do that, they’re not gonna have Republican support…I’m just not interested in ruining the [2017] tax reform.” [CNBC, 5/10/21]
  • Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID): “Congress has already approved over $6 trillion in pandemic relief, yet the Administration continues to propose massive new spending programs totaling over $4 trillion, this time funded by job-killing tax hikes. […] [We must] remove partisan wish list items.” [Statement, 4/29/21]
  • Sen. Barrasso:
    • “We have no appetite at all for… things like child care, senior care.” [Press Conference, 5/11/21]
    • Said his “red line” is touching 2017 tax law as part of infrastructure talks [Twitter, 5/11/21]
    • Called the clean energy jobs in the American Jobs Plan, “expensive fantasy jobs.” [Floor Remarks, 5/11/21]
Flip-flopped on their past support for caregiving provisions in the American Jobs and Families Plan: 
The only counter-proposal the GOP has offered so far strips 92% of the funding in President Biden’s plan, gutting job-creating investments in schools, caregiving, manufacturing, and clean energy and potentially preventing the creation of at least 1 million jobs and hurting American competitiveness.

Schools

  • The GOP plan cuts $137 billion in funding to upgrade and build new public schools, community college infrastructure, and child-care facilities.
  • Meanwhile, the American Society of Civil Engineers rated school infrastructure in the U.S. with a “D+” rating — and 28 million American students attend schools nationwide that need one or more building extensively repaired, overhauled, or replaced.
  • Research has shown “there is strong evidence that high-quality infrastructure facilitates better instruction, improves student outcomes, and reduces dropout rates.” Our school buildings’ structural faults “are significantly related to worse student achievement.” As such, proposals to eliminate school infrastructure investment are proposals to stunt our children’s educational growth and development.
Caregiving
Manufacturing: 
Clean Energy: 
  • The American Jobs Plan would create between 1 million and 1.2 million jobs per year through investments in clean energy, according to Robert Polling, economics professor and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
  • Experts have applauded the American Jobs Plan’s clean energy investments as “a significant step in meeting our collective clean energy goals.” Eliminating these investments would only worsen climate change and prevent us from achieving the clean environmental future we need.
  • By stripping investments in clean energy, the GOP plan would forfeit more than 1 million jobs and inhibit our fight against climate change. 
A multi-trillion dollar investment in infrastructure will create jobs and turbocharge the economy.
  • S&P Global estimates that $2 trillion investment in public infrastructure over 10 years would create 2.3 million jobs, grow personal income by $2,400, boost household spending by $3.5 trillion, and inject $5.7 trillion to the U.S economy — that’s 10 times what was lost during the Great Recession.
  • More than half of the millions of jobs created by infrastructure investments would go to blue collar workers without a college degree.
  • The time is right for a big investment — a $2 trillion infrastructure investment now could mean that each dollar spent will have a return of $2.70, according to S&P.
  • In 2017, the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce estimated that a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure could create 11 million jobs.
“Infrastructure pays for itself if it’s done wisely. It’s the grease that keeps the economy moving along.” 
— Beth Ann Bovino, Chief U.S. Economist
at S&P Global 
About Invest in America

Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources. 

The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.

Learn more at InvestInAmericaNow.com and @InvestNowUSA, and InvestinAmericaProject.com.

###