Ahead of infrastructure talks, House Democrats release $137B bill

Ahead of infrastructure talks, House Democrats release $137B bill
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House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a $137 billion Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill, just hours before Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Democrats will 'certainly' beat Trump in 2020 Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Lewandowski, Democrats tangle at testy hearing MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) were set to meet with President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE to discuss infrastructure.

The bill increases funding for the agencies by $6 billion in comparison to current spending levels.

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Democrats had blasted Trump for proposing $5.9 billion in cuts to the Transportation Department budget in his budget request, while at the same time calling for major infrastructure investments. A 21.5 percent cut to that agency, they said, did not bode well for a bold infrastructure plan.

“This year’s transportation and housing funding bill makes significant new investments in infrastructure, prioritizes safety, and protects vulnerable populations — a stark contrast to the Trump administration’s draconian budget proposal,” said Rep. David PriceDavid Eugene PriceDemocrats hit HUD for missing Puerto Rico disaster relief deadline House Democrats blur lines on support for impeachment Republican lawmakers on why they haven't read Mueller report: 'Tedious' and 'what's the point?' MORE (D-N.C.), who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies.

Much of the increased funding in the bill was allocated toward the Department of Housing and Urban Development, increasing budgets for Indian housing, rental assistance, veteran homelessness programs and community planning and development. 

In their last meeting on infrastructure, Pelosi, Schumer and Trump agreed to work toward a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Wednesday’s meeting is meant to fill in details on what to include in the plan and how to pay for it.