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Biden Says He’s Ready to Meet With McCarthy ‘Anytime’ on Budget

Biden, in a March 9 speech announcing his administration’s $6.8 trillion budget proposal, said it’s time for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to announce his plan so they can explore “line by line” and determine areas of common ground.

“I’m ready to meet with the speaker anytime,” Biden said at a union hall in Philadelphia.

“Lay it down. We’ll go through it, see what we can agree on, what we disagree on, and then fight it out in the Congress.”

Biden’s budget proposes hiking the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, which would add $1.3 million to the Treasury, the White House said.

Raising the capital gains tax on incomes of more than $1 million from 20 percent to 39.6 percent for incomes of more than $1 million would generate an additional $449 billion, the White House added.

Increasing the top income tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent for Americans earning more than $400,000, elevating the tax rate on foreign earnings of U.S. companies from 10.5 percent to 21 percent, raising the Medicare surtax from 3.8 percent to 5 percent on Americans making more than $400,000 a year, and debuting a 25 percent minimum tax on people with income and assets of more than $100 million are among the other proposals in Biden’s budget.

“When I grew up, trickle-down didn’t work for my family. I ran for president to rebuild the backbone of the country—the middle class,” Biden said. “That’s what my budget is an investment in,”

Republicans, in response, called the president’s budget “completely unserious.”

“He proposes trillions in new taxes that you and your family will pay directly or through higher costs,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote in a tweet ahead of Biden’s speech. “Mr. President: Washington has a spending problem, NOT a revenue problem.”

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) warned that Biden’s plan would “bankrupt Floridians.”

“The budget [the president] proposed today shows the American people he doesn’t value them,” Scott said in a statement. “If he did, he would get serious about rolling back burdensome regulations and focus on growing the economy so American business can create more, good paying jobs.”

Tax Hikes

As he did in the State of the Union address last month, Biden said that “my plan is to make sure the corporations begin to pay their fair share.”

“It used to be 35 percent, we cut it down to 21 percent,” Biden said about the corporate tax rate. “I think we should be paying 28 percent. It’s going to be a real fight in that but we should be paying more than 21 percent.”

Biden vowed that “No one making less than $400,000 will see a penny in federal taxes go up. Not a single penny.”

“No billionaire should be paying a lower tax than somebody working as a school teacher or a firefighter,” he said.

Biden drew the ire of many Republicans at the State of the Union address when he claimed they were intent on ending social security and Medicare. To rousing applause on March 9, he promised he would not let that happen.

“I won’t allow it to be gutted or eliminated as MAGA Republicans threaten to do,” Biden said. “My budget will not cut benefits and it definitely won’t sunset programs like some of my MAGA Republican friends want to do.”

Under Biden’s budget, the “vital program” will keep “going strong for generations without cutting a single penny and benefits,” he said.

The budget plan also calls for a $26 billion increase in Pentagon spending to $842 billion, which represents a 3.2 percent raise compared to 2023; and around $25 billion on border security, which is approximately $800 million more than 2023.

Congress is tasked with writing the federal budget, and Biden’s plan is not expected to pass the GOP-controlled House.

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