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 PelosiBloomberg faces criticism for tweet showing altered debate moment Trump knocks Democrats at rally: Bloomberg 'getting pounded' Biden earns endorsement from former House impeachment manager MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocratic senators urge Trump administration to request emergency funding for coronavirus response Barr to testify before House Judiciary panel Graham won't call Barr to testify over Roger Stone sentencing recommendation MORE (D-N.Y.) were set to meet with President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries 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 PriceA disaster for diplomacy and the Zionist dream The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders surge triggers Dem angst House passes supplemental disaster relief for Puerto Rico 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.