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Trump, Democrats agree: $2 trillion needed for infrastructure NEWSWIRE

By Dan Zukowski | April 30, 2019

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a deeply divided capital, and country, infrastructure spending may finally bring us all together.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday and agreed that $2 trillion is needed to rebuild America’s infrastructure.

Ahead of the meeting, hopes for a productive session were muted. On Monday, the two Democratic leaders sent a letter to Trump staking out their position on infrastructure priorities.

Schumer and Pelosi called for “substantial, new and real revenue” to pay for the package. But yesterday, Washington sources reported that Schumer added a new condition: rolling back some of the 2017 tax cuts in exchange for increasing the gas tax, which Democrats say will hurt lower-income working people. That’s likely a non-starter for the president and Senate Republicans.

Trump and Democratic leaders agreed to meet again in three weeks to hash out how to pay for the infrastructure deal. Trump’s support is seen as crucial for getting the Senate on board.

Federal spending on infrastructure has dropped by 20 percent since 2003, according to a Congressional Budget Office report issued last year. It stated that infrastructure accounted for 2.5 percent of federal spending in 2016, down from its peak in 1966 of nearly 6 percent.

Federal spending on mass transit and rail has had its ups and downs, reaching $24.8 billion in 1981, declining to a low of $9.4 billion in 1999 and increasing to $17.3 billion for 2017.

The Schumer-Pelosi letter called for a bill that “should go beyond transportation” to include broadband, water, energy, schools, housing, and “other initiatives” – a grab-bag sure to increase complexity in reaching any agreement and potentially leaving transportation interests with a slimmer slice of the pie.

Tuesday’s meeting included Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin and Debbie Stabenow, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, along with other Democrats.

Trump was joined by Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao, Ivanka Trump, economic advisor Larry Kudlow, press secretary Sarah Sanders, and others.

18 thoughts on “Trump, Democrats agree: $2 trillion needed for infrastructure NEWSWIRE

  1. What the Democrats want is a package of bills to support per projects that have little to do with needed and economically viable infrastructure. Also they are requesting set-asides for women and minority contractors etc. etc. etc. My answer to the Democrats is no and no.

    Build the Gateway tunnels with 100% of the contracts to the lowest bidder and zero percent set aside to contractors who pay off Chuck Schumer.

  2. Okay we’ll go with the low bidder for Gateway, and China gets to bring in Chinese labor to build it. That will guarantee a low price.

  3. For God’s sake, here they go again!

    Polluting an infrastructure bill with a wish-list of assorted goodies that have nothing to do with the bill’s stated purpose.

    TERM LIMITS NOW! Worthless bunch! Throw ’em ALL out!

  4. Here we go again, bloated federal projects where the construction unions and the real estate developers rake in the lion’s share of the money, then kick back to the politicians who continue to reward them with these goodies, and Schumer’s at the top of the list. Wash, rinse, repeat.

  5. Wayne – Term limits? The worst people in Congress are two that have been there just a few weeks. No names but one the bartender from Bronx and the other the nazzie from Minnesota.

  6. Don’t worry about those two Charles. They’ve PO’d so many in their own party don’t be surprised it they’re stopped from running again, by primary challenge or otherwise.
    Remember what happened to Cynthia McKinney when she got out of control?

  7. If instead of everyone just sitting around throwing mud at each other all the time, people actually sat down and had actual discussions about issues and came to an agreement on how to best handle them, imagine how much more we could get done as a country. Believe it or not, creating enemies is not going to get anyone to listen to anyone else. We should be working together, not against each other.

    On a side note, will someone please do something about the gas tax before the Highway Trust Fund goes insolvent? It would be nice if the freeways didn’t have more potholes and craters than the surface of the moon. TIA

  8. Sad to observe the rock bottom quality of these comments recently. I’ve lost interest in participating.

  9. I’ve got news for everyone, the following items are all part of “infrastructure”; broadband, water, energy and schools, I do however agree that housing and the rest of it should be handled separately, but then you need to make sure that there’s equal spending between highways, railroads and air infrastructure.

  10. True costs: Private sector project = $1 Trillion = 100% finished on time. Government project $2 Trillion starting point, gets caught up in red tape trying to please every political cause, race & gender. Nothing is done. Costs balloons to $3T and only 25% complete. Protests & lawsuits by greenies add up to $3.5T and 40% done. 20 yrs later the feds need another $2T to complete 60%. And on and on and on it goes.

  11. I think people are misguided here. Why do we want the bottom feeders in government to get along and agree? When they do, taxes most surely go up and new laws and regulations come out of nowhere. Lots of talk among the inhabitants of the Washington cesspit. But don’t expect much action.

  12. John Winter – Hyperbole makes your point. Costs actually won’t balloon from $1T to $5.5T. It would be more accurate and fair to say $5.4T.

    What’s worse than government overruns is when the government bails out the so-called “private sector”. Private sector my bum. Here in Wisconsin the Republicans passed the massive and egregious Foxconn con. On a much smaller scale but equally corrupt, yesterday a committee of the Milwaukee Common Council voted five to zero to incdentivize the conversion of a dilapidated former Sears store into a hotel. The wrong building on the wrong intersection in Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhood. That’s fine, though, the developers are using Other Peoples’ Money. This hotel’s chance of making it are far less than the odds of Amtrak’s Hoosier State to operate at a profit.

  13. Everyone agrees that infrastructure needs work, I find it interesting no one likes the way to pay for it. I don’t mind a tax, if the tax is spent with purpose. Raising the motor fuel tax incrementally and not regressively will not bring hardship to the poor. The poor were burdened twice as much by Obama policies that permitted $4 gas.

    At $2.50, a 10 or 15 cent tax increase over a few years is not going to break anyone.

    As for the broadband as a part of infrastructure, I would buy this except for one big problem. Everyone already pays into the Rural Broadband Fund with that line item in your cell phone bill. It’s called a “regulatory recovery fee”. This is a move by AT&T and Verizon to shift funding for that work (which they benefit by reaching more people) away from cell phone bills (which people see on their bills and complain) to something they don’t see (gas pump).

    The other problem is that AT&T and Verizon have to spend a lot of dough (millions) to upgrade their towers to support 5G. This is a big deal because they both want to be in the content delivery service as a sat/cable bypass which 5G will do very easily. But every tower on their system has to be upgraded with fiber or lots of copper. Naturally, if this work is sheltered under a rural broadband name, no one will be wise to it. Do we need to tax fuels so Joe Farmer in Ruralville Kansas can watch Game of Thrones? I don’t think so. This is a poor use of a fuel tax. People are already complaining about over taxtion of cell phones, broadband and land lines. Let the carriers find their own way to finance it.

    As for waterways, yes. Many of the locks and dams that support commerce by water need upgrades and repair.

    As for bridges, yes, many bridges nationally that were built in the highway boom of the 1960’s are reaching their end of life.

    As for rail, yes, many transit agencies are starving at the vine (like Metra) to keep engines and rolling stock going on a daily basis.

    As for air, yes, keep funding the updates to the ATC to keep the skies fluid and safe. Knowing politicos, they will bury it in a jet fuel tax and ban airlines from exposing it above the line with that booking checkout “fuel fee”. So expect airfares to rise to compensate.

    As for “new” roads. No. Lets fix what we have right now. My parents and grandparents paid to have these roads built, now its time for this generation to keep them fixed and usable for the next generation. It’s not sexy, its not exciting, its just a responsibility.

    You see, “someone” has to pay.

  14. It simply ludicrous that a increase to the gas tax to begin with.I do not care if the gas tax has not been raised since 1993.What I am not hearing is that the federal debt has gone up 18 trillion to 22 trillion during the same time period.I think that 10 trillion came under Obama & about 2 trillion has come under the one who succeeded him.So why should be sending more of our tax money to Washington when congress under both Rs & Ds have proven time & time again they cannot control their spending at all.I wonder how many of these politicians spend their own personal money they same way they spend our tax money.Government cannot produce a thing without taking from you & me.As it was written a long & is still true today The borrower shall be slave to the lender

  15. Just so everyone knows, I’m not in favor of private sector bail-outs myself. In my humble opinion it just encourages irresponsibility in others. Why play it safe and responsibly when you know “Uncle Sugar’s” going to bail you out when you get in trouble?
    Yes, I know those bail-outs are loans, not gifts, but they still shouldn’t be needed.

    You see, we had a rule in the military: If you excuse, explain away, sympathise with, or in a back-handed way reward irresponsible behavior all you do is buy yourself more of it. Not good!

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