(CNN)Faced with major blowback over its $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, the Biden administration is rolling out a campaign to justify why it needs to hike corporate taxes to fund the massive plan. But President Joe Biden also left the door open Wednesday to negotiate one of the most contentious provisions — raising the corporate tax rate to 28%.
“I’m wide open, but we’ve got to pay for this,” Biden told reporters following his remarks about the American Jobs Plan. “There are many other ways we can do it. I’ve come forward with the best, most rational way in my view, the fairest way to pay for it. But there are many other ways as well, and I’m open.”
The President invited Republicans and others to meet with him, though he warned that he will not accept a narrow definition of infrastructure as just highways and bridges.
Biden issued a similar invitation but did not make any changes to his $1.9 trillion Covid relief plan earlier this year after meeting with a small group of GOP lawmakers, who proposed a roughly $600 billion version. He said Wednesday that he could have worked with them if they had supported a larger version, but “they didn’t move an inch.” GOP senators pushed back on that characterization later Wednesday, saying in a statement, “The Administration roundly dismissed our effort as wholly inadequate in order to justify its go-it-alone strategy.” The relief package ultimately passed Congress without GOP support.