Obama, who was president from 2009 to 2017, told Good Morning America host Robin Roberts that he supported taxes on rich Americans and corporations to help pay for Democrats' $3.5 trillion infrastructure package.
He also supported a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which has passed in the Senate but has been held up in the House of Representatives as progressives seek to tie it to the $3.5 trillion proposal.div data-bg="https://d.newsweek.com/en/full/1902945/senate-minority-leader-mitch-mcconnell.jpg?w=300&h=180&f=e9fc796fafbb3cd13de91786454b6c27"">>McConnell Accuses Democrats of Playing Politics as GOP Blocks Funding BillRead more McConnell Accuses Democrats of Playing Politics as GOP Blocks Funding Bill
Progressives in the House have suggested they may not vote for the bipartisan bill unless the larger bill— which covers so-called "human infrastructure"—is also brought up for a vote.
The $3.5 trillion bill would have to be passed through the budget reconciliation process and without Republican support, but there are concerns about how it will be paid for and suggestions that the package will have to be slimmed down.
Obama said he was in favor of paying for the reconciliation bill through tax rises on corporations and the wealthiest Americans, as House Democrats have suggested.
"I think that they can afford it. We can afford it. I put myself in this category now," Obama said.
"It's paid for by asking the wealthiest of Americans, who have benefited incredibly over the last several decades—and even in the midst of a pandemic, saw their wealth and assets rise enormously—asking them to pay a few percentage points more in taxes in order to make sure that we have an economy that's fair for everybody," he said.