Senate Democrats on March 6 released a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that would be funded by rolling back numerous tax cuts Republicans pushed through Congress late last year.
The plan would return the top individual tax rate to 39.6 percent, raise the top corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 25 percent, and undo the exemption increase for the estate tax. While Republicans won’t agree to the plan, Democrats are laying a marker for what they might do should they seize control of the majority in either chamber after the midterm elections.
“We want to roll back the Republican tax giveaways to big corporations and the wealthy and invest that money instead in job-creating infrastructure,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Last month, the White House rolled out a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan focused on investments in rural America and letting state and local governments prioritize projects. Congressional Democrats criticized the plan, however, because it includes only a $200 billion investment from the federal government. “The plan they unveiled doesn’t come close to giving America what it needs,” Schumer said.
President Trump has suggested he would support a 25-cent hike in the gas tax to help pay for the package. The gas tax supports the Highway Trust Fund to pay for road projects but has not been raised since 1993. Earlier this week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Trucking Associations endorsed a 25-cent per gallon gas tax increase to help pay for infrastructure improvements. Speaking at a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee hearing March 7, Ed Mortimer, the Chamber’s executive director for transportation infrastructure, said the 25-cent gas tax increase could raise an estimated $394 billion over the next 10 years.
“This is a once-in-a-generational opportunity for federal leadership to modernize America’s infrastructure,” Mortimer told lawmakers. “Delay is not an option.”