RSC chief signals no blank check on Trump infrastructure

RSC chief signals no blank check on Trump infrastructure
© Greg Nash

The new chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee signaled that Congress will not be giving President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE a blank check for his promised $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

“It’s our job, as controller of the purse strings, to say, ‘This is as far as we can go; this part of it’s not paid for,’ ” said Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.). “I believe it’s our job, not to necessarily push back, but to sometimes share … our concerns in moving forward.”

During an interview for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” scheduled to air Sunday, Walker said that it is incumbent upon Congress to work with the new administration.

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But he also acknowledged that there may be some disagreements over issues like infrastructure spending, especially if the plan is not fully paid for, although Walker cautioned that Trump's plan has not yet been finalized.

“I don’t know that we’ve all settled on $1 trillion, even the administration,” he said. “If it’s $1 trillion in infrastructure, that is something that we would have to say, ‘There’s a portion of this that we’re not comfortable with and come back to the table.’

“As the legislative body, that is still our job.”

Trump has promised major investments in the country’s ailing infrastructure. He has floated a $1 trillion package that would offer private tax credits to investors who want to back transportation projects.

But Trump’s plan could face pushback from fiscal conservatives, who are typically reluctant to back any massive federal spending.

“That’s not a very Republican thing — I didn’t even know that, frankly,” Trump said of large infrastructure spending, according to The New York Times.

Still, Republicans concede that Trump is going to be driving the conversation on infrastructure and largely expect the administration to take the lead.

“I think for the most part, it’s going to be driven by the administration,” Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThere is a bipartisan path forward on election and voter protections Juan Williams: It's Trump vs. McConnell for the GOP's future Biden's year two won't be about bipartisanship  MORE (R-S.D.), chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, told reporters Wednesday. “I assume at some point they will consult with us about what that might look like, and I’m anxious to engage in those discussions.”