Nearly three dozen business groups representing a range of industries have created an alliance to fight President Biden's plans to raise taxes, arguing the proposed levies will kill job creation and hinder the U.S. economic recovery from the pandemic.
The coalition of 28 industry groups – called "America's Job Creators for a Strong Recovery" – was spearheaded by the National Association of Wholesale Distributors.
The alliance comes as Biden pushes forward with his $4 trillion "Build Back Better" agenda, which is comprised of the $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan and the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan.
The measures would be paid for by a slew of new tax hikes on wealthy Americans and corporations, including raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%, imposing a global minimum of 15% on companies' overseas profits, hiking the individual income tax rate to 39.6% and nearly doubling the capital gains tax rate.
Biden is negotiating with Republicans on the size and scope of the spending plans, but hopes for a deal dimmed considerably last week, after the White House sent GOP lawmakers a counteroffer that cut $500 billion off the president's initial proposal. The latest figure – about $1.7 trillion – is still more than $1 trillion higher than the offer Republicans had initially made to the White House.
The new group is targeting its messaging at Arizona, a purple state with two moderate Democratic senators: Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema. The research pushed by the group shows that while there's broad support for Democrats to raise taxes to pay for roads and bridges, that support fades when the money is being spent on other measures.
Biden's proposals would dramatically expand the government-funded social safety net, overhaul the nation's infrastructure and invest billions into green energy and combating climate change.
The White House has said it would like to see progress on a bill by Memorial Day and has indicated that it wants to send the measure to Biden's desk before the August recess.
With narrow majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats have the option to bypass Republicans and approve the measure on a party-line basis using a procedural tool known as budget reconciliation, a path that some liberals want to take.
Still, some moderate Democratic members, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have indicated they want to pursue a bipartisan deal first on a smaller, more targeted infrastructure bill before moving unilaterally to pass a bigger measure. Some have also raised concerns that his proposed tax hikes could derail the economic recovery currently underway.
"We need to be careful not to do anything that's too big or too much in the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis," Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., told Axios in March.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can afford to lose just four Democratic votes if Republicans are unified in opposition, while Democrats need the support of all 50 members in the Senate to pass the measure, should they opt to approve it using budget reconciliation.