Democratic leaders are telling President Donald Trump that American’s unmet infrastructure needs are “massive” and they want to hear from him on how to pay for legislation to fix the problems.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are to meet with Trump at the White House on Tuesday. They sent him a letter in advance.
Leaders of both parties have expressed a desire to pass major legislation to boost the nation’s infrastructure. But big obstacles remain, including how to pay for it.
Democrats want the measure for roads, bridges, waterways and other projects to be paid for with tax increases, and with a final price tag of at least $1 trillion. The White House’s infrastructure plan is scaled back and relies heavily on public-private partnerships.
Pelosi and Schumer say an infrastructure package should go beyond addressing roads and bridges and should also include provisions to enhance broadband, water systems, energy, schools and housing.
They say it should also include investments to make infrastructure more resilient to climate change.
“America’s unmet infrastructure needs are massive, and a bipartisan infrastructure package must meet those needs with substantial, new and real revenue,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote in a letter to Trump on Monday. “We look forward to hearing your ideas on how to pay for this package to ensure that it is big and bold enough to meet our country’s needs.”
Pelosi told reporters earlier this month that an infrastructure package “has to be at least $1 trillion. I’d like it to be closer to $2 trillion.”
A handful of other House Democrats will be attending Tuesday’s meeting: Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.), Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (S.C.), Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Lujan (N.M.), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (Mass.), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (Ore.).
On the Senate side, Democratic attendees will include Minority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (Wash.), Democratic Policy Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), and Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Tom Carper (Del.), the ranking members of the Finance and Environment and Public Works committees, respectively.