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Senators press Trump to boost school funding in infrastructure package

Senators press Trump to boost school funding in infrastructure package
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A group of 25 predominantly Democratic senators is pressing the Trump administration to strengthen public school funding in a forthcoming infrastructure package.

In a letter to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE, Sens. Jack ReedJack ReedLawmakers release compromise defense bill without Section 230 repeal Top Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Trump fires Defense chief Mark Esper | Worries grow about rudderless post-election Pentagon | Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up | Pelosi says Esper firing shows Trump intent on sowing 'chaos' MORE (D-R.I.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks McConnell in tough position as House eyes earmark return MORE (R-Alaska) call on the administration to develop a partnership with states to fix the conditions of U.S. public schools.

“This is the right thing to do for students, educators, and communities. It is also a smart investment, since it will give a needed boost to our economy by creating local jobs in every community across the country,” the letter reads.

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“According to a recent economic analysis, every $1 billion dollars invested in construction creates nearly 18,000 jobs. That means, for example, that a federal investment in school infrastructure of $100 billion would yield an estimated 1.8 million jobs.”

Several Democrats on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee signed the letter, including Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenate committee approves nominations of three FEC commissioners Scammers step up efforts to target older Americans during pandemic Hillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk MORE (Minn.), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyACLU sues DHS for records on purchased cell phone data to track immigrants DHS watchdog to probe agency's tracking of Americans' phone data without a warrant Manchin: Ocasio-Cortez 'more active on Twitter than anything else' MORE (Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Next Congress expected to have record diversity Infrastructure, energy investments urgently needed to create U.S. jobs MORE (Wis.) Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanCut tariffs and open US economy to fight COVID-19 pandemic Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities Overnight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings MORE (N.H.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoSenate committee approves nominations of three FEC commissioners Hispanic leaders coalesce in support of Lujan Grisham as HHS secretary Favorites emerge as Latino leaders press Biden to appoint 5 Hispanics to Cabinet MORE (Nev.) and Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense: Trump orders troop drawdown in Afghanistan and Iraq | Key Republicans call Trump plan a 'mistake' Top Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Another Defense official resigns | Pentagon chief says military 'remains strong' despite purge | Top contender for Biden DOD secretary would be historic pick MORE (Ill.).

“We believe this investment is an essential piece of a national infrastructure plan and stand ready work to with you to make sure it is a feature of any comprehensive infrastructure bill that makes it to your desk,” the lawmakers write.

The letter comes as the Trump administration’s long-awaited infrastructure proposal may not arrive until February, despite previous plans to reveal “detailed legislative principles” for a plan this month. 

While Murkowski was the only Republican to join her Democratic colleagues in signing the Wednesday letter to Trump, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers last week put forward detailed policy suggestions for a potential infrastructure package.

The White House said it was “encouraged” by that plan, which was unveiled by the congressional Problem Solvers Caucus.

Trump has expressed hope that infrastructure could be a point of bipartisanship for lawmakers, who spent much of 2017 fighting over health care and tax reform. 

“At some point, and for the good of the country, I predict we will start working with the Democrats in a Bipartisan fashion,” Trump said in December.

“Infrastructure would be a perfect place to start. After having foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is time to start rebuilding our country!”