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President Joe Biden will push the case for his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan in the reliably Republican state of Louisiana - directly challenging GOP lawmakers who say that low taxes for corporations and the wealthy will fuel economic growth.

Biden is leaning into the stagecraft of the presidency on Thursday by choosing to speak in the city of Lake Charles in front of a 70-year-old bridge that is 20 years past its designed lifespan.

FROM AUG. 2020: Here's how people in Lake Charles are recovering from Hurricane Laura

Even as he engages with Republicans in Washington, Biden is trying to sell their voters on the idea that higher corporate taxes can provide $115 billion for roads and bridges and hundreds of billions of dollars more to upgrade the electrical grid, make the water system safer, rebuild homes and jump-start the manufacturing of electric vehicles.

He's proposing to pay for his plan by undoing the 2017 tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump and raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. Biden contends his programs would bolster the middle class and make the country stronger than tax cuts for big companies and CEOs.

Biden aims for vaccinating 70% of adult Americans against COVID-19 by July 4

Biden hinted at the theme when answering questions from reporters after a Wednesday speech at the White House that also emphasized his separate $1.8 trillion plan for education and children to be funded by higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

"What's going to grow America more?" Biden said. "What's going to help you and your security more? The super wealthy having to pay 3.9% less tax or having an entire generation of Americans having associate degrees?"

"Guess what," he added. "It grows the economy. Benefits everybody. Hurts nobody."

Republican lawmakers have doubled down on low taxes as a core pillar of their ideology and partisan identity. Several GOP senators favor spending $568 billion on infrastructure over five years, a small fraction of what the Democratic president has proposed - a sign of how difficult a deal might be.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said that Republicans would rather finance infrastructure through user fees such as tolls and gasoline taxes, though he declined to specify which fees he would back.

"We're open to doing a roughly $600 billion package, which deals with what all of us agree is infrastructure and to talk about how to pay for that in any way other than reopening the 2017 tax reform bill," McConnell said this week at the University of Louisville.

The Biden administration is banking that its message could play in Louisiana, which last backed a Democratic presidential candidate in 1996. Louisiana has been barraged by 30 extreme weather events over the past decade that caused $50 billion worth of damage. Biden is seeking $50 billion to make infrastructure better able to withstand storms, winds and flooding.

Hurricanes battered Lake Charles, a city of 78,000 residents, twice last year over the course of six weeks. Biden also plans to tour a water plant in New Orleans.

His infrastructure package received support in a newspaper editorial last week by Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter, a Republican, and Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, a Democrat.

"The unfortunate truth is that our aging infrastructure and local government budgets cannot withstand the strain of increasingly frequent storms," they wrote. "As mayors of great American cities in the South, we lie awake at night dreading each forecasted storm."

There is general agreement among Democrats and Republicans in Washington about the need for infrastructure spending. But there are significant hurdles for Biden's proposal to garner Republican backing.

Republicans want to define infrastructure more narrowly, concentrating on roads, bridges, airports, transit and broadband rather than renewable energy and access to caregivers. They object to undoing the 2017 tax cuts and imposing higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

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Tags: joe biden politics joe biden u s world politics what’s going republicans in washington going infrastructure plan infrastructure is infrastructure on infrastructure higher taxes corporate tax lake charles louisiana undoing

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Biden lands back in D.C. with grandson Beau and son Hunter after ride on Air Force One: President returns from vacation to sign inflation reduction bill - as Republicans fume at Trump getting raided before his son and after Jill tested COVID positive

President Joe Biden helped his grandson Beau off of Air Force One when the Biden family landed back in Washington D.C. on Tuesday afternoon, finishing up a week-long vacation in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. 

But they were missing one member - first lady Jill Biden, who tested positive for covid and remained in South Carolina to isolate.

The president held his grandson's hand as he helped the two-year-old down the stairs of the presidential plane. Biden was wearing a face mask in accordance with CDC guidelines after being declared a 'close contact' of the first lady.

'She's doing well,' Biden told reporters of his wife. He tested negative for covid on Tuesday, according to the White House.

Biden will mask in indoor settings for 10 days when he is close to other people, according to the White House. He will also have his testing cadence increased. 

The president is recovering from his own case of covid. Biden, 79, first tested positive for covid on July 21. He later came down with a rebound case on July 30, forcing him back into isolation until August 7, when he tested negative again.

Hunter Biden, the president's son, and his wife Melissa Cohen also wore face masks as they stepped off the airplane and onto the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews. The two joined President BIden and Beau in the presidential limo known as the Beast for the ride back to the White House.

President Joe Biden helped grandson Beau Biden off of Air Force One on Tuesday

The Bidens returned to Washington D.C. on Tuesday afternoon after their South Carolina vacation - minus one family member, first lady Jill Biden, who tested positive for covid

Hunter Biden and his wife Melissa Cohen traveled back to Washington with the president and tehir son

President Biden wore a face mask and will for the next 10 days as he's considered a close contact to Jill Biden

Biden will keep to his Tuesday schedule and sign the Inflation Reduction Act at the White House before heading to Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday evening to take a few more vacation days. 

The House passed the bill Friday 220-207 on a party-line vote after it squeaked through the Senate 51-50 with all Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris voting for it under the reconciliation process, which protected it from a Republican filibuster.

It ranks as one of Biden's top legislative achievements, and, while Biden officially signs it on Tuesday afternoon, he'll hold a celebratory event for it at the White House on September 6. 

He also will be back on the road soon, as he seeks to sell the legislation and give Democrats a boost as they try to cling to control of the House and Senate in November's midterm election. 

Biden has yet to publicly comment on other big news of the past week - the raid at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home. 

The White House has said the president found out about the raid only after it was carried out and has not spoken to Attorney General Merrick Garland about it. Garland said he personally ordered the raid. 

Trump has claimed to be the victim. He blasted the Department of Justice and FBI repeatedly on Monday for an 'assault on a political opponent.'

Several Republicans also have joined in on the former president's fury. 

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz made the unfounded claim that Biden is 'undermining the peaceful transfer of power' over the FBI's search of Trump's Palm Beach home. 

He also attacked Garland for approving FBI agents' request to seek a warrant for the operation, which was then approved by a federal judge. 

Cruz joined a long list of Republicans condemning the Biden administration over the raid on Monday, calling the operation 'utterly unprecedented' during a taping of taping 'The Verdict with Ted Cruz.'

'Federal law enforcement officers raiding the home of a former president has never happened - going all the way back to George Washington,' the Texas conservative said.

'This has never happened, in significant part, because we're a country that has a tradition of the peaceful transfer of power.'

President Biden told reporters Jill Biden is 'doing well' as Hunter takes Beau to get in the presidential car for the ride back to the White House

Beau Biden, 2, climbs off the stairs of Air Force One

President Biden, with Hunter, Beau and Melissa, prepares to leave South Carolina

First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning after a negative test Tuesday and while wrapping up a family beach vacation. Pictured: The first lady shops at Freshfields Village shops in Kiawah Island, South Carolina on Sunday, August 14, 2022

Senator Ted Cruz said during a taping of his podcast that the Biden administration is guilty of an 'abuse of power' over the FBI's unannounced search of Mar-a-Lago

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During Monday's raid of Trump's Florida home, FBI agents took 11 sets of classified documents, photographs and other files marked 'top secret' among boxes of items. 

In all, FBI agents took 27 boxes of documents, according to the federal warrant.

Monday's raid was part of a longer-running investigation into documents Trump took with him when he left the White House.

Under the Presidential Records Act, all such documents must be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration at the end of each presidential administration.

The law declared all presidential and vice presidential records property of the federal government, with 'custody, control and preservation' of the records delegated to the National Archives when a president leaves office. 

Trump returned 15 boxes to the Archives earlier this year. But, on Monday, in a day-long search, agents went through storage space at Mar-a-Lago and areas in Trump's personal residence, removing more material.

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