FLASH: President Trump and Democratic congressional leaders agreed Tuesday to work together on a $2-T infrastructure program
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D:NY) said there was “good will in the meeting” and that the 2 sides agreed that infrastructure investments create jobs and make the United States more competitive economically with the rest of the world, and “we agreed on a number.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D:CA) said, “We did come to 1 agreement: that the agreement would be big and bold.”
Speaker Pelosi and congressional Democrats had asked for the meeting with President Trump to discuss launching an ambitious building program that is a Top priority for the party and an area of bi-partisan accord with Republicans.
A lawmaker that attended the meeting said that President Trump agreed that infrastructure investments should go beyond roads and bridges and include broadband, water systems, and enhancements to the electrical grid.
The group agreed to meet again in 3 weeks, where the President will present his ideas on funding the program.
The nation’s Top business groups and labor unions support increasing the federal gasoline tax, currently 18.3c a gal, which was last raised in Y 1993.
Infrastructure is seen by political analysts as the issue with the best chance for the 2 sides to work together this Congress for the benefit of The People.
President Trump’s re-election is tied to a strong economy that would get another boost from new road and bridge projects.
House Democrats have passed lots of bills that have gone nowhere in the Republican controlled Senate.
Speaker Pelosi has lots of new Democratic House members who won in competitive districts, and they need to be able to go home next year and say they have accomplished something.
Committees in Congress have started to lay the groundwork for an infrastructure bill through hearings, with Democratic lawmakers hoping to have legislation ready for consideration by June or July.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will give every House lawmaker a chance to share their infrastructure priorities on Wednesday.
The infrastructure issue has aligned the nation’s Top business groups and unions in Washington.
The US Chamber of Commerce has proposed increasing the federal fuel tax 5c a year for 5 years, then allowing it to increase with inflation.
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