Biden to meet with U.S. lawmakers Monday on infrastructure plan

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WASHINGTON, April 9 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden plans to meet with a bipartisan group of U.S. House and Senate lawmakers on Monday on his proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan, the White House confirmed on Friday.

Senator Deb Fischer, the senior Republican on the Commerce Committee's subcommittee that oversees surface transportation and other issues, was invited to attend the meeting, a spokeswoman for the senator said.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Biden will be discussing his plan "and the need for a bold, once-in-a-generation investment in America to put millions of people to work."

Confirming the meeting reported earlier based on sources briefed on the matter, Psaki, however, declined to disclose the attendees.

Biden's "American Jobs Plan" would hike corporate taxes and eliminate fossil fuel tax breaks to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure, such as roads, tackles climate change and boosts human services like care for the elderly.

It would also dedicate $100 billion to electric vehicle rebates and $100 billion to extend broadband internet to unserved areas. It would direct tens of billions of dollars to boost U.S. semiconductor production, eliminate lead pipes and spend more than $165 billion to boost passenger rail and transit.

Biden’s second multitrillion-dollar legislative proposal in two months in office has prompted a partisan clash in Congress, where members largely agree investments are needed but are divided on the total size and inclusion of programs traditionally seen as social services.

Biden’s team believes a government-directed effort to strengthen the economy is the best way to provide support to an economy walloped by the coronavirus pandemic and contend with increased competition and a national security threat posed by China.

On Wednesday, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said infrastructure legislation could win support from Republicans in Congress if it targets traditional projects involving roads, bridges and broadband and does not unwind 2017 tax cuts.

Reporting by David Shepardson

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