Congress and Trump Agree Broadly on Infrastructure
Democratic leadership, Trump Trump agree to invest $2 trillion in public works
Democratic leaders said they had a “constructive” meeting with President Trump this week on revitalizing the nation’s infrastructure, though there is still the issue of how to pay for it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said President Donald Trump has agreed to invest $2 trillion in public works and the interested parties will come back together in three weeks to discuss options for funding.
“We agreed on a number, which was very, very good,” Schumer said. “Originally we had started a little lower; even the president was willing to push it up to $2 trillion. And that is a very good thing.”
Along with Trump, Schumer and Pelosi, those at the White House meeting this week included Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Ivanka Trump and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow.
“It was a good, positive meeting,” DeFazio told The Washington Post. “We agreed on a broad figure of $2 trillion of investment. Probably the largest chunk would go to roads, bridges, transit, but we’re also going to do waste water, harbors, and probably include airports.”
One of the most discussed funding options for infrastructure is raising the federal gas tax, which has stayed at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993. Last year, DeFazio introduced legislation to increase the gas tax and index it to inflation, but there is no consensus on that proposal from either party. Schumer has said in the past that he would consider increasing the gas tax only if it’s paired with a roll-back of tax cuts that benefitted the wealthy in the 2017 tax law.
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