Some non-traditional infrastructure measures still remaining in President Joe Biden's scaled-back bill are important and should be part of a bipartisan agreement if one is reached, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell argued Monday on Newsmax.
"The original bill that President Biden put forward had some things that were not traditional infrastructure [such as] something for disabled people and childcare that's been taken out during the negotiations," Rendell, a Democrat, told "National Report" on Newsmax. "But there is money in there for job training, because we learned during the infrastructure work in the Obama administration in 2009 that we didn't have enough trained people do all the work as quickly as we'd like, so that's an important component that should stay in the bill."
The second important part of an infrastructure bill involves how it will be funded, Rendell said, pointing out Biden's original plan was to raise the corporate tax from 21% to 28%. However, Biden has compromised, saying the bill will be instead funded by putting more focus on collecting taxes, and putting in a 15% tax on people with "means to pay," he added.
"We had the absurd picture in America of Amazon, probably the most successful company in the world, paying no federal income tax, right?" he said. "Makes no sense at all. Every American should agree, every corporation should pay at least a minimum tax."
Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, also on the program, said Republicans should not get in line to pass the bill until it is scrubbed of all non-infrastructure components.
"It's true that some of them have been slimmed down and taken out, but the fact is, the bill is still chock full of hundreds of billions, billions with a B, of projects that are not bridges, roads, tunnels, and broadband," she said.
She also said the bill allows the federal government to override local zoning laws and "deposit" apartment buildings in single-family areas.
"The thinking is that if you can afford to live in an area with single-family zones and a little plot of lawn outside, everybody should have that," she said. "That's just not fair. That will take reduce the value of your property and change your suburban lifestyle back into an urban lifestyle, so that has to go. That is not infrastructure."
Rendell said he agrees with McCaughey there are many items in the bill that are not traditional infrastructure, but he thinks they should stay.
"I've heard Republicans complain about money to fix the electrical grid, saying that's not traditional infrastructure," he said. "No, it's not traditional infrastructure, but we learned by what happened in Texas, we've learned that we have to fix the American grid to make it more effective.
"Both sides have to compromise a little, and we can still do this in a bipartisan fashion."
But, still, "everyone wants a bipartisan infrastructure bill," Rendell concluded.
"They want this country to work again to be able to compromise to be able to pass things that are good for us," he said.
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