WATCH: Dem senator: Budget deal creates ‘hope’ for bipartisan infrastructure deal 

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) on Thursday said he thinks the passing of a bipartisan 2-year spending bill creates “hope” for an infrastructure plan in 2018.

“I think this sets the table for the potential of [bipartisan infrastructure reform],” Heinrich told The Hill. “If we can continue the kind of constructive conversations that have been going on for the last week, I think there’s some hope.”

Heinrich made the statement before an hours-long delay on a vote for the spending bill that ultimately passed the Senate easily with a 71-28 vote.


The spending deal includes a $20 billion “downpayment” on infrastructure reform. The White House plans to release more details of its infrastructure proposal as early as Monday.

Fellow Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) said he has his “fingers crossed” that the White House will share the proposal next week. He noted that the budget deal easily passing in the Senate, “clears the decks for a lot of pending issues and provides the space for significant infrastructure to move forward.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), however, cautioned that a $20 billion downpayment “certainly falls short of what we need.”

Fellow Republican Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) sounded a similar warning “how you pay for the infrastructure is important.”

During the State of the Union Address, President Trump caught Republicans off-guard when he predicted his yet-to-be-seen proposal could cost upwards of $1.5 trillion.

Shortly following the January 30 speech, Rep.Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) called the president’s infrastructure ideas “a much-enlarged nothing-burger.”


“(President Trump) upped it to one and a half trillion dollars of imaginary money on an imaginary plan,” DeFazio, the top-ranking Democratic lawmaker on House Transportation Committee, told The Hill that night.

Cornyn, the No. 2 ranking Senate Republican, suggested that infrastructure spending should be part of a broader bipartisan push on reaching a balanced budget.

“As you know there’s a lot of red ink because there seems to be a lack of much interest on a bipartisan basis in balancing the budget ... but I hope at some the president will convene a group of us to come up with a solution like President Obama did to deal with our deficits and debt,” Cornyn said.

Watch the video above to hear the senators in their own words.