Transcript for GOP 'willing to negotiate' smaller infrastructure package: Sen. Roger Wicker
Let's bring in Republican senator Roger wicker from Mississippi. Thank you for joining us this morning. You heard secretary Granholm right there saying the only way America is going to win is if they pass this package now. Well, listen. We're willing to negotiate a much smaller package, but I thought Jonathan Karl's lead-in piece was -- made a very good point. Americans voted for a pragmatic moderate that they thought Joe Biden was. Where is that centrist candidate they thought they were voting for back in November of last year? I mean, you've got -- you've got a proposal here of the $2.3 trillion, 70% of which any stretch of the imagination can't be called infrastructure. That's on top of what a few weeks ago was not covid-related. The skinny federal budget that the president rolled out just this past week. Where does the spending end? This is a massive social welfare spending program combined with a massive tax increase on small business job creators. I can't think of a worse thing to do that secretary Granholm was talking about bringing us out of this recession caused by covid. I can't think of a worse tax to put on the American people than -- than to raise taxes op small business job creators which is what this bill would do. Well, the corporate tax would be well below the one before president trump's tax cuts went into effect. The fact those businesses will have an increase is minimal. Well, I totally disagree. Back in February of 2020, before the covid recession hit us, unemployment rate was 3.5%, an unheard of low amount. A lot of people re-entering the work force, including minority work participation, veteran work participation, female job participation, it was up, and we had 3.5% unemployment. I think -- I think the tax package of 2017 really was our signature accomplishment, and it ushered in and was about to usher in before the pandemic took over, it was about to usher in even greater economic growth. So I would just say to this -- I'm meeting with the president tomorrow at 1:30 if my plane gets into Washington on time. We are willing to negotiate with him on an infrastructure package, and this trillion dollar number is way too high for me. I'll just tell you, but negotiation has to be something different from what we had on the rescue plan. Senator -- The president offered $1.9 trillion. Republicans came back with $600 billion, and the president said, that's not good enough. Make me another offer. Now that's -- that is normally not the way negotiations go. The president should have come back with a counteroffer, and if he will do that with the Republicans that are meeting with him in the white house tomorrow, I think we can get somewhere and have a much bigger infrastructure package than we were able to do under the last administration. I'm in favor of that, and I think the majority of Republicans are, and we can get a lot of Democrats to help us on that, and then we'll talk about these social welfare programs that make up 70% of this new package that the president is calling infrastructure.
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