Mitch McConnell: Democrats seeking to raise taxes by $3.2 trillion

"This is going to be a hell of a fight," said the Senate minority leader. "This is a fight worth having. I don't think they have a mandate to do it." 

Published: July 8, 2021 12:33pm

Updated: July 9, 2021 1:41pm

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says that the Democrats' forthcoming budget reconciliation bill would again give the U.S. the "highest corporate tax rate in the world" and raise taxes by about $3.2 trillion.

McConnell said the 2017 GOP tax reform law lowered the corporate tax rate to 21% to make the nation "more competitive internationally." President Biden has proposed raising it to 25% or 28%. 

McConnell estimated that the Democrats' reconciliation package could total up to $5 trillion. The package would be able to pass out of the 50-50 Senate with every Democratic vote and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.

The Kentucky Republican said something "more alarming" to many Americans is the Democrats' proposal for the capital gains tax and "death tax" or "estate tax." Democratic leaders are considering lowering the exemption for the estate tax, which is currently set at $11 million, in addition to raising the capital gains tax. 

"This is going to be a hell of a fight," McConnell said on Thursday in a speech to the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. "This is a fight worth having. I don't think they have a mandate to do it." 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki updated the press about the timeline for the legislative process on the bipartisan infrastructure agreement and reconciliation package.

"Our understanding is the process can begin as early as the week of July 19 given that committees are still finalizing legislative texts for both the budget resolution and the bipartisan bill," she said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that she has not seen legislative language of the bipartisan proposal or the reconciliation package.

"We are waiting for the budget number from the Senate," Pelosi said during a press briefing about potential efforts to reduce prescription drugs in the budget reconciliation package. "We'll see their number, we'll see ours, and we'll make a decision based on the timetable. We want to get this done as soon as possible."

Pelosi reiterated that she does not want Congress to "take up" the bipartisan infrastructure legislation until both infrastructure and reconciliation are "addressed by the Senate." 

During McConnell's speech before the chamber, he described his potential role as majority leader after the 2022 election.

"If I become the majority leader again, it's not for stopping everything, it's for stopping the worst," he said. 

He called on Democratic governors to follow the lead of GOP governors in Indiana and Ohio who ended the federal unemployment bonus as a way to help fill job openings in their states.

He said some businesses in Indiana received 200 job applications the day after the federal jobless bonus ended.

"We've got a serious problem here in getting people back to work," he said. "In our extraordinary generosity here, we have confronted people with a non-irrational decision that it makes more sense to stay home than to go back to work, and I think it does raise larger issues about the whole value of work itself."

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