Administration

Trump: I am ‘looking hard’ at bipartisan infrastructure plan of $1-2 trillion

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President Trump said Saturday that he is “looking hard” at an infrastructure plan that would cost between $1 trillion and $2 trillion, days after Democratic congressional leaders said they reached an agreement with the president to seek a deal on a $2 trillion infrastructure bill.

“There is nothing easy about a USA Infrastructure Plan, especially when our great Country has spent an astounding 7 trillion dollars in the Middle East over the last 19 years, but I am looking hard at a bipartisan plan of 1 to 2 trillion dollars. Badly needed!” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

Trump’s comments came days after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) met with the president on Tuesday. Schumer said after the sit-down that “there was goodwill” on both sides toward crafting a major piece of legislation on infrastructure.

The Democratic leaders, however, cautioned that the parties had not decided on how to fund the $2 trillion package that aims to improve U.S. roads, bridges, waterways and broadband. They will meet again in three weeks to solicit Trump’s ideas on funding.{mosads}

Despite the rare bipartisan development, Trump still faces stiff opposition from the GOP in his desire for such a sweeping infrastructure package.

The agreement between Trump and Democratic leadership was met with concern from conservatives on Capitol Hill over how the government would pay for the infrastructure plan, with many Republicans voicing resistance to raising taxes to secure the funds.

“You would have to have a gas tax to do it, and we’re not for a gas tax,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told The Hill on Thursday. “I mean, $1 trillion you could maybe do; $2 trillion, there is no way to get the money other than raising taxes and there is not an appetite for an increase in taxes by Republicans in the House or the Senate.” 

“No, I wouldn’t raise taxes,” said Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.). “That’s going to be the heaviest lift of all of this, is figuring out a way here from a fiscal viewpoint making this affordable on our current balance sheet.”

Republicans, who are seeking a major legislative win ahead of the 2020 election, have floated various plans to pay for an infrastructure plan.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested selling government lands, while Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the administration could pay for infrastructure by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and other combat zones. 

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Kevin McCarthy Mark Meadows Nancy Pelosi Rand Paul Steve Daines
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