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Biden will invite the top four congressional leaders to the White House for May 12 meeting

President Joe Biden will host his first meeting with Republican and Democratic leadership from the House and Senate since taking office on May 12 at the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.

“He is eager to talk in-person about how we can partner on the goals of restoring trust in government and ensuring that government delivers for the American people,” Psaki tweeted.

Biden plans to host House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with their Republican counterparts — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy — to meet as the talks over his sweeping $4 trillion legislative proposals enter a crucial stage, according to a White House official.

This will mark Biden’s first conversation with McCarthy since Inauguration Day. Biden has spoken by phone with McConnell. He is in regular contact with the two Democratic leaders as he maps out his legislative agenda, officials say.

More than 130 members of Congress have been hosted at the White House by the President and his staff in the almost 100 days Biden has been in office, according to Psaki.

The meeting will come two weeks after the President fully unveils his roughly $4 trillion, two-pronged plan to revitalize the nation and help the American economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden is poised to highlight key aspects of a $1.8 trillion proposal — the American Families Plan — to invest in education, child care and paid family leave during his first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night.

The proposal’s priorities include helping families afford child care, making two years of community college free, providing paid family and medical leave, investing $200 billion in universal preschool, recruiting more teachers and providing more nutrition assistance for children.

The plan, if passed by Congress, would also extend or make permanent enhancements to several key tax credits that were contained in Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill.

The President plans to pay for this part of the proposal by raising income taxes on the rich, raising the capital gains tax rate, taxing unrealized capital gains at death, ending breaks for hedge fund partners and real estate investors and enhancing Internal Revenue Service enforcement.

The President’s second proposal comes a month after he laid out the American Jobs Plan, a roughly $2 trillion investment in the nation’s crumbling infrastructure aimed at creating jobs and also shifting the nation to greener energy.

The infrastructure and jobs plan calls for improving the nation’s roads, bridges, broadband, railways and schools. It would also provide a boost to manufacturing, shift the country toward electric vehicles and invest in affordable and energy efficient housing units.

This part of the plan would be paid for by hiking corporate taxes. Biden would raise the corporate income tax rate to 28%, up from 21%. The rate had been as high as 35% before former President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans cut taxes in 2017.

It is unclear whether lawmakers will consider Biden’s two plans together or separately. It is also unclear whether Democrats will try to pass the legislation the same way they did with the Covid-19 relief bill, which had no Republican support.

Biden has held several meetings with lawmakers at the White House to discuss his infrastructure proposals. The President has said he is willing to negotiate both the content of his infrastructure package and how to pay for it.

This story has been updated with additional information.

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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