Congressional Republicans should readily accept President Biden’s proposal to impose a minimum 15% tax on corporations as a way to fund new infrastructure spending, the White House said Thursday.
“This should be completely acceptable to a number of Republicans who have said that their bottom line is they want to leave the 2017 tax law untouched,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
Mr. Biden met Wednesday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the Senate Republicans’ chief negotiators in the ongoing infrastructure talks.
The president apparently floated a minimum 15% tax on all corporations as a possible alternative to his original proposal to increase the U.S. corporate tax rate from the current 21% to 28%.
Mr. Biden previously had proposed a minimum 15% tax on income that companies use to report profits, or “book income,” as part of his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal.
“He believes that we should continue to look at raising the corporate rate — that is a way to pay for a range of ideas,” Ms. Psaki said.
Congressional Republicans say their “red line” in the talks is rolling back parts of the 2017 tax law, which lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and slashed individual income tax rates across the board.
“If the Republicans want to go back to raising the corporate rate as a part of this specific negotiation, we are absolutely for that,” Ms. Psaki said. “If there are other options, great. We’re not going to go down the road of user fees or other areas that would raise taxes on the American people.”
The White House recently floated a $1.7 trillion counteroffer, which Ms. Capito and Senate Republicans responded to with a $928 billion proposal of their own.
Ms. Psaki would not say whether the president is willing to accept a package with a price tag of less than $1 trillion.