President Biden said Wednesday that he is open to compromise with Republicans on how to pay for his massive $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. He's also going to have to be open to compromise with Democrats: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has said he will support raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 25% but not as high as the 28% Biden has proposed, the Washington Post reports. The Trump administration cut it from 35% in 2017. "Compromise is inevitable," Biden said in a speech Wednesday, per the AP. "We’ll be open to good ideas in good faith negotiations. But here’s what we won’t be open to: We will not be open to doing nothing. Inaction, simply, is not an option."
Biden said he would not abandon his promise not to raise taxes on households making less than $400,000. He also defended the scale of the project, saying funds were needed for projects like asbestos removal from schools as well as more traditional infrastructure projects like bridges. "Damn it, maybe it’s because I come from a middle-class neighborhood, but I’m sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced," he said, per the Post. Failing to invest in the future would mean America giving up on "leading the world," he said. Republicans and some business groups have strongly criticized the proposed tax hikes, though Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said Tuesday that he supports both the rise in corporate taxes and the focus on infrastructure, NBC reports. (A ruling from the Senate parliamentarian could help Biden pass the plan without GOP support.)