State House News: Sen. Edward Markey sees ‘big, big’ infrastructure bill in works
As originally appearing in The MetroWest Daily News
By Matt Murphy, State House News Service
U.S. Sen. Edward Markey says Democrats are looking ahead to a “big, big bill” for infrastructure, climate and jobs in the next few months, and that he plans to push for the final package to be even larger than the $3 trillion economic plan the White House is reportedly assembling.
Markey repeatedly told the New England Council on Wednesday that the effort on infrastructure will be “big, big” and that it may require increases in the corporate tax rate from 21% or in taxes on the wealthy in order to create jobs, including offshore wind and other “good-paying green union jobs.”
“We want a big big infrastructure bill that is passed this year because we know that we can save all of creation by engaging in massive job creation,” Markey said.
President Joe Biden’s economic team is reportedly assembling a multi-part jobs and infrastructure package that would invest in roads, bridges, ports and other traditional infrastructure, as well as climate and clean energy projects.
The second part of the package, according to some reports, could focus on education and ideas like free community college. U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark has said she hopes to use the infrastructure bill as a vehicle for her plan to invest $10 billion in child care facilities.
“I’m going to be pushing for not just a $3 trillion green infrastructure plan that Joe Biden is now talking about, but I think we can make it even bigger because we can, in fact, come out of this recession, create a new infrastructure for our country that’s green. It’s what young people want,” Markey said.
While the Biden administration is also eyeing tax increases to help pay for the infrastructure spending, Markey said he doesn’t believe opposition to tax increases should slow the pace of spending to aid the economic recovery from COVID-19.
“We should be increasing taxes on the one hand but that should not limit what ultimately we’re able to do through appropriations and authorizations of the funding for the programs that are absolutely necessary,” the senator said.
Markey said he expects Democrats will have to use the budget reconciliation process for the second and final time this year to get the giant infrastructure bill through the divided Senate, but the process that requires just a simple majority to move forward on legislation can’t be used to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act or immigration reform.
Markey said he believes Democrats will reach the point where repealing the filibuster rule in the Senate is the only option to advance other parts of their agenda, and he said if the rule is set aside temporarily to pass just one piece of legislation it should be for voting rights.
“If we make one exception to the filibuster, it should be so that people can vote,” Markey said.