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Reps Keller, Thompson cool to Biden spending plan

Republican House members from the region recently criticized President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs package targeted at reshaping the American economy.

The plan includes spending for repairing roads and bridges, rebuilding of schools and hospitals, and expanding electric vehicles and replacing water systems.

In addition, it would rebuild the clean energy workforce, expand manufacturing, and boost caregiving as a profession to serve the elderly and disabled.

To play for it, Biden looks to raise the corporate tax rate to 28 percent and the minimum tax on U.S. multinational corporations to 21 percent.

U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer was less than enthusiastic about Biden’s funding proposal.

“What the President is proposing is not an infrastructure package. Let’s call this proposal what it really is — an attempt to push through liberal priorities like the Green New Deal, paid for by historic tax increases on hardworking Americans,” the lawmaker said. “This $2.3 trillion tax and spend package is nothing but the latest payoff to the radical left. The only thing that Biden’s plan will build is more debt.”

U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard, whose sprawling 15th Congressional District includes Centre County, was also less than enthusiastic about the plan.

“While most Americans agree we need significant investments in our national infrastructure, President Biden has suggested we tax businesses at a higher rate than communist China. As we rebuild our economy following COVID-19 lockdowns, there must be an emphasis placed on opportunity and growth, not roadblocks to investment and new tax burdens for working families,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, D-Scranton, came out in support of Biden, calling for quick legislative action on the President’s plan for job creation, rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and growing incomes for families.

“His plan also includes the bold investment that I have called for in home and community-based services, which will allow seniors and individuals with disabilities to receive care in the setting of their choice, lift up the caregiving workforce and make permanent funding from my bill in the American Rescue Plan. This is what ‘building back better’ is all about,” Casey said. “In addition to laying out a detailed plan to upgrade our roads and bridges, President Biden has put forth commonsense ideas for how to finance these investments.”

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, called for an infrastructure bill done on a “sensible” scale rather than one that is expensive.

He reportedly told the editorial board of the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat that he’s worried bill is not really going to be about infrastructure.

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