President Obama pressed GOP lawmakers on Tuesday to strike a deal that would lower corporate tax rates in exchange for boosting spending on jobs and infrastructure programs, The Hill reported.
The White House cast the new plan as a "grand bargain for the middle class," as well as a new way to ease the partisan gridlock expected to intensify this fall with battles over funding the government and raising the debt ceiling.
Republican lawmakers, however, said the president was offering a bargain without any concessions and had essentially reneged on his past positions.
The plan, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, was "an unmistakable signal that the president has backed away from his campaign-era promise to corporate America that tax reform would be revenue-neutral to them."
The White House plan to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent - among the highest in the developed world - to 28 percent was first rolled out by Treasury in 2012, as was the idea of pushing the effective rate to 25 percent for manufacturers.
Obama is also proposing to allow small businesses to write off as much as $1 million in investments, and calling on Congress to sign off on new infrastructure spending, aid to community colleges and investment in manufacturing hubs.
To pay for the new spending, the president proposed a one-time "transition fee" on the hundreds of billions of dollars that companies are currently holding or earning overseas.
The federal government will shut down on Oct. 1 if Congress fails to pass a funding bill. But more than a dozen Republicans in the Senate have said they will block a continuing resolution to fund the government if it includes money for the healthcare law.