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1. WHEELING AND DEALING: Negotiations on President Biden’s $2.3 trillion jobs plan are in full swing. He will meet later today in the Oval Office with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, some of whom are former mayors and governors. Meanwhile, Vice President Harris will head to North Carolina touting the plan as she delivers her first major speech on the economy. However, the more talks continue around the plan, the more it becomes apparent that some major roadblocks remain.
Here’s a look at where things stand:
A GOP counterproposal is moving forward: Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said he’s working with Democrats on an $800 billion package. Republicans and some business groups have pressured the White House to narrow its definition of infrastructure by cutting items like $400 billion for home care workers. Biden has defended a broader definition of infrastructure that goes beyond roads, bridges, ports, and airports.
A deal is said to be forming around corporate taxes: Biden and Democrats, Axios reports, are increasingly prepared to accept a 25% rate rather than the 28% currently in the plan. Trump and the GOP’s 2017 tax law lowered the overall corporate rate from 35% to 21%.
More Democrats getting SALTy: Rep. Thomas Suozzi of New York told The Washington Post that he would oppose the president’s plan if it doesn’t undo the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions created by the 2017 law. Other Democrats have also signaled a fight over the provision, though not everyone in the party agrees.
Time remains a factor: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has privately told lawmakers that she wants House passage before July 4, a speedy timeline in an institution that moves notoriously slow. Unlike Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue plan, the White House expects the infrastructure plan to move through a more normal process of hearings and mark-ups.
2. Fauci expects a decision on Johnson & Johnson this week: Dr. Anthony Fauci hopes there will be a call on the paused COVID-19 shot by Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a meeting that day to discuss what to do about the vaccine that was paused after six women developed rare blood clots.
Half of US adults have had at least 1 dose of a vaccine: Some 84 million people are fully vaccinated from coronavirus, about 32.5% of the population, the AP reports. But vaccine hesitancy continues to be an issue. The New York Times found that the least-vaccinated counties on average were more likely to have voted for Trump.