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 TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE, Sens. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Supreme Court allows transgender ban to be enforced | Trump missile defense plan faces reality check | Experts warn of persistent ISIS threat Senate Dems introduce bill to keep DACA info private Trump's missile defense plan faces reality check MORE (D-R.I.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiNew momentum for Equal Rights Amendment Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback The Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World 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 Jean KlobucharGrassley to hold drug pricing hearing Overnight Health Care: HHS chief refuses to testify on family separations | Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices | PhRMA spends record on lobbying in 2018 Senate Dems introduce bill to keep DACA info private MORE (Minn.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing Overnight Energy: Watchdog investigating EPA enforcement numbers | EPA's Wheeler faces Senate grilling | Interior's offshore drilling staff returning to work during shutdown EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne Baldwin116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Kyrsten Sinema swears in to Congress using copy of Constitution instead of religious book Dems say Trump is defying court order by pushing abstinence programs MORE (Wis.) Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanNew Hampshire's secretary of state narrowly holds seat New Hampshire Dem icon at risk after work with Trump Dem senators call on DeVos to rescind new campus sexual assault policies MORE (N.H.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoSenate Dems introduce bill to keep DACA info private Mark Kelly considering Senate bid as Arizona Dems circle McSally Schumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat MORE (Nev.) and Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthDuckworth calls Supreme Court decision on transgender military ban 'disheartening' Dems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers 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!”