House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she’s willing to listen to Republicans’ concerns that President Biden’s $2.2 trillion infrastructure proposal is too expensive, but she didn’t sound willing to scale it back significantly.
“It can’t be too small,” she said. “We’ve got big needs.”
Mr. Biden on Wednesday said he’s willing to lower a proposed corporate tax increase to pay for his massive plan after Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, signaled he did not support increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%.
But Mrs. Pelosi, citing priorities ranging from wiring more schools for broadband to eliminating lead in pipes, said cost shouldn’t be the driving concern.
“I don’t think we start with the number and say our needs are related to how much we’re willing to spend,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “We’ve got to think big. You can’t think small when we’re talking about the greatness of America.”
At her weekly press conference, Mrs. Pelosi also said she’s proud of the executive actions on gun control Mr. Biden announced Thursday.
The president is directing the Justice Department to issue a rule within 30 days to regulate so-called “ghost” guns that can be manufactured from do-it-yourself kits.
The Justice Department, within 60 days, is also supposed to issue new rules aimed at imposing tougher regulations on stabilizing braces, which many shooters attach to pistols to help guide their aim.
The Justice Department is also tasked with crafting model “red flag” legislation, which many states have adopted in recent years. The laws allow families to petition law enforcement or the courts to temporarily seize guns from people judged to be a danger to themselves or others.
“The steps the president announced will save lives,” Mrs. Pelosi said.
She noted that the House in March passed bills that would impose stricter background checks on all commercial gun sales and transfers, give the FBI more time to conduct background checks, and close loopholes that enable a person to acquire a gun before the background check is complete.