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Top GOP senator says it's 'an impossible sell' for Republicans to strike a deal on an infrastructure package that rolls back Trump tax cuts

Business Insider logo Business Insider 4/13/2021 jzeballos@businessinsider.com (Joseph Zeballos-Roig)
Roger Wicker wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Sen. Roger Wicker Tom Williams/Pool via AP © Tom Williams/Pool via AP Sen. Roger Wicker Tom Williams/Pool via AP
  • Sen. Roger Wicker downplayed the odds of an infrastructure deal that included rolling back Trump's tax cuts.
  • He called it 'an impossible sell' among Republicans on Monday.
  • Wicker met with Biden to discuss his jobs plan along with other Republicans and Democrats.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, downplayed the prospect of a bipartisan deal on President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan that included rolling back the 2017 Trump tax cuts.

"It would be an almost impossible sell from the president to come to a bipartisan agreement that included the undoing of that signature [law]," Wicker said. "And I did tell him that."

He described the 2017 tax cuts as "one of my signature achievements in my entire career" and said he supports keeping the corporate tax rate at 21%. The law slashed it to that level from 35%, and Biden wants to lift it to 28% to generate federal dollars for his infrastructure plan.

The remarks came after a bipartisan meeting between the White House and a centrist group of eight lawmakers, which Wicker called "a good meeting." Biden administration officials said it was part of an effort to shore up support for their infrastructure plan.

"He looks forward to hearing their ideas, and his objective is to find a way forward where we can modernize our nation's infrastructure so we can compete with China," Psaki said hours before the meeting. The White House also released an 'infrastructure report card' on Monday that hit a majority of states with Cs and Ds.

The Biden infrastructure plan includes major funding to repair roads and bridges and set up clean energy incentives. It also contains federal dollars for in-home elder care, public transit, broadband, and schools, among others.

Republicans are lining up in opposition to the Biden infrastructure plan. They argue its tax hikes on multinational corporations would hurt job growth and their global competitiveness at a vulnerable period in the economic recovery.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed the size and scope of the Democratic plan on Monday.

He said during a floor speech that Democrats were "embarking on an Orwellian campaign to convince everybody that any government policy whatsoever can be labeled 'infrastructure.' Liberals just have to believe in it hard enough."

Still, some Democrats are seeking changes to the plan. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he is opposed to a 28% corporate tax rate and favors 25% instead.

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