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Sen. Portman on Liz Cheney, infrastructure plans, and taxing the wealthy

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Rob Portman:

Well, here’s here’s what I think.

I think about $600 billion is about where Republicans are going to end up. The proposal is about $568 billion. So that includes sort of all forms of traditional infrastructure-plus, because it includes things like broadband and so on. The president may be at about $900 billion, as I understand it, when you look at a comparison, apples-to apples comparison, number of years, and so on.

So we’re far apart, in the sense of $300 billion is a lot of money, but not very far apart as compared to what many are reporting, which is that his proposal is $2.3 trillion and in ours is 500-some, because the fact is, most of that is not infrastructure.

So, if we focus on infrastructure, I think we can get it done. Raising taxes is not the right thing to do. There are other ways to pay for infrastructure. As you know, user fees have traditionally been used. That makes a lot of sense, but also using things that we currently do use, like using the ability for the government to go to borrow at lower rates, and then to be able to get the private sector engaged, or the local communities engaged.

So, the funding right now that’s used for roads and bridges is often that kind of funding. People have talked about an infrastructure bank, which I support, which is essentially that same methodology.

So there are ways to find the funding for infrastructure that are different, in that it’s a long-term capital expense, as compared to, say, a programmatic expense. So, I think there’s a way to get there.

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