Biden tries to sell his $2trillion infrastructure package to Republicans and Democrats with another Oval Office sit down as he prepares another round of taxes on the rich
* President Joe Biden will host Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the Oval Office as he tries to sell them on his $2
trillion infrastructure package
* Administration considering taxing the wealthy to pay for second phase of its infrastructure plan - the American Families
* Among lawmakers meeting with Biden is Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who has an infrastructure proposal of his own
* Some Republicans want to pass a 'hard' infrastructure plan with traditional items
* Some Democrats signing on to that as a first step with a social program package to follow that one
President Joe Biden will host Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the Oval Office Monday as he tries to sell them on his $2 trillion infrastructure package.
The meeting comes as the administration prepares for a new round of taxes - this time on wealthy individuals - to pay for the second phase of Biden's infrastructure plan, which focuses on social programs.
The 10 lawmakers meeting with Biden are all former governors or mayors. The president has touted his support from Republican mayors and governors to paint his proposals as bipartisan even as his American Rescue Package didn't garner a single GOP vote on Capitol Hill.
The White House touted the meeting, saying the group of 'former state and local elected officials understand firsthand the impact of a federal investment in rebuilding our nation's infrastructure on their communities.'
Biden faces an uphill battle on his sprawling infrastructure plan, which goes beyond tradition projects of roads and bridges to include housing, childcare and the environment.
Both Democrats and Republicans have weighed in on the proposal, which is in the process of being drafted on Capitol Hill.
Monday's meeting marks the second time in the last two weeks Biden has hosted a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Last week he met with eight lawmakers for nearly two hours.
Among the group of 10 lawmakers sitting down with the president is Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who has an infrastructure proposal of his own to counter Biden's.
He and the president have spoken about it, Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill last week.
The Republican legislation aims for a smaller infrastructure deal - in the $600 billion to $800 billion range.
It would focus on traditional infrastructure items and some Democrats see that as a first step to a larger deal.
Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a close Biden ally, said on 'Fox News Sunday that the Senate should 'come together in a bipartisan way to pass that $800 billion hard infrastructure bill' and then tackle a second package that would include additional items the president is proposing.
Meanwhile the White House wooing continues.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain will host leaders of the moderate House Democratic Blue Dog Coalition on Tuesday and key members of the New Democrat Coalition on Wednesday, a White House official told CNN.
Vice President Kamala Harris is in North Carolina on Monday to sell the plan and other Cabinet officials are also hitting the road.
Republicans have criticized Biden's plan for being too large and going outside the traditional infrastructure scope. Some moderate Democrats have expressed similar concern.
Biden has defended his plan by saying all the items contribute to the greater infrastructure of the country.
But he's also facing criticism from his left wing, who wanted him to go even bigger.
The White House is working to mollify progressives with talk of the American Families Plan, a second part of the infrastructure initiative that will be released this month and focus on social programs, including the child tax credit.
But most Republicans strongly oppose the social programs and liberals worry that a smaller first round package passing with bipartisan support could kill the second round proposal.
To pay for his American Families Plan, Biden is weighing a new series of tax hikes on the wealthy, people familiar with the discussions told Politico.
The new taxes come after the administration proposed a series of taxes on corporations last month to pay for its $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. Some of those funds could pay for first round of infrastructure funding but the way to cover costs is still being worked out as the legislation is being crafted.
But a presidential proposal for a tax on the wealthy is likely to be much more contentious on Capitol Hill than his push to raise corporate taxes.
Republicans are pushing back hard on Biden's plan to raise taxes - both on corporations and on high-net earners.
And some Democrats from high-worth areas - such New York, San Francisco and Silicon Valley - may object to the president's plan to raises taxes on their constituents.
Biden has pledged only to raise taxes on households making more than $400,000. But the administration hasn't been clear as to whether that limit applies to individual earnings or combined household - a distinction that makes a big difference especially in areas on the East and West Coasts where the cost of living is high.
One idea the administration is considering would be to reel back Donald Trump's tax cut, taking the top marginal tax rate back to 39.6 per cent, where it was before the 2017 tax cut.
Lawmakers meeting with Biden on Monday
Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado
Sen. Angus King of Maine
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri
Rep. Charlie Crist of Florida
Rep. Norma Torres of California
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah
Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota
Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida
Rep. Kay Granger of Texas