McConnell just ruled out any Republican support for tax hikes to pay for a Biden infrastructure package

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McConnell just ruled out any Republican support for tax hikes to pay for a Biden infrastructure package
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
  • McConnell on Tuesday dismissed Republicans signing on to a Biden infrastructure plan with tax hikes.
  • "I don't think there's going to be any enthusiasm on our side for a tax increase," he said.
  • Democrats may bypass Republicans on a follow-up economic recovery bill.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday flatly dismissed the idea of Republicans backing tax hikes to finance President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan. That sets the stage for Democrats to circumvent Republicans if they aim to enact an economic recovery bill by the end of the year.

"I don't think there's going to be any enthusiasm on our side for a tax increase," he said at the weekly Senate Republican press conference. The remarks were first reported by Bloomberg.

The Kentucky Republican said he believed the plan would form a "Trojan horse" for Democrats to pack in many of their long-sought priorities.

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"My suspicion is they will try to jam everything they can into that bill and call it an infrastructure bill, just like they tried to call the bill a couple of weeks ago a COVID bill," he said.

Other Republicans like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine on Monday also rejected the concept of the GOP coming on board a spending proposal containing tax increases.

The Biden administration is in the early stages of drafting a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure plan. The White House and Senate Democrats favor some tax hikes to finance the broad package that may carry a price tag between $2 trillion and $4 trillion. Funding methods could include raising taxes on Americans earning above $400,000 as well as large corporations.

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McConnell's remarks will likely heighten calls among Democrats to bypass the GOP on infrastructure and jobs package, which could also address climate change and renewable energy. House Democrats started the process of crafting the bill on Friday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, indicated on Tuesday he wanted to employ reconciliation. It's the same procedural tactic Democrats used to enact a $1.9 trillion stimulus law last week without any Republican support.

"One always wants to try to go the bipartisan route, but what I have seen this year and in past years: If you want to do something significant, it's very hard to get Republican support," Sanders told reporters on Capitol Hill.

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Still, other influential Democrats say they want to attract Republican votes on a follow-up economic aid package. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a key moderate swing vote, said in a recent Axios interview he would not "get on a bill that cuts them out completely before we start trying."

In a hot-mic moment on C-SPAN on Monday, a senior Democratic senator, Ben Cardin of Maryland, said Democrats would "most likely have to use reconciliation" to pass the infrastructure bill. His voice trailed off as he said, "The Republicans will be with you to a point, and then - "

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