WASHINGTON (AP) - For Senate Democrats, voting against the Republican tax cuts that President Donald Trump signed into law wasn’t opposition enough. Now they have a plan to reverse some of the tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest Americans and put the money instead toward a $1 trillion infrastructure package.
The proposal, unveiled Wednesday, is more campaign theme than actual legislative agenda, since Republicans hold the majority in Congress. But it stands as an alternative to Trump’s approach to both taxes and spending as his infrastructure blueprint has stalled on Capitol Hill.
“We want to roll back the Republican tax giveaways to big corporations and the very wealthy and invest that money instead in job-creating infrastructure,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Senate floor. “We say, take some of those tax breaks from the wealthiest Americans and put them into middle class jobs. Plain and simple.”
Republicans are counting on the new tax law to boost their standing with voters ahead of what is expected to be a grueling midterm election that could threaten their hold on the majority.
It’s their chief legislative accomplishment since Trump became president, and Congress has not announced plans to consider the president’s infrastructure plan.
Americans had initially been cool to the $1.5 trillion GOP tax cut bill, which Republicans say will pay for itself with economic growth and Democrats warn will pile onto deficits. But it has gained favor since becoming law late last year. Some workers are seeing increased take-home pay, and some companies have granted bonuses or wage hikes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the proposal, and said it’s too bad Democrats voted against the tax plan, as its benefits are “percolating through every corner of our economy.”
“Repeal all these bonuses, pay raises, new jobs, and new investments?” McConnell said. “Talk about a non-starter.”
Trump’s infrastructure proposal has seen less interest in Congress. It relies mostly on private and local government funding, with about $200 billion in federal investment.