While the rest of the Democratic caucus seems to be focusing on impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is heading to the White House to discuss the nation’s crumbling infrastructure with President Donald Trump.
Pelosi will be joined by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other committee chairs to discuss how to pay for the bipartisan $2 trillion infrastructure plan initially unveiled in April.
Both Congressional Democrats and the administration agree that there is a need to address the vast array of infrastructure issues facing the U.S., but the discussion has a number of thorns in its side.
Ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, Trump sent a letter to Pelosi and Schumer Tuesday evening informing them that he felt it important to prioritize USMCA–the trade pact intended to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico–instead.
“Before we get to infrastructure, it is my strong view that Congress should first pass the important and popular USMCA trade deal,” Trump wrote. “Once Congress has passed USMCA, we should turn our attention to a bipartisan infrastructure package.”
He nevertheless appeared ready to discuss the infrastructure bill on Wednesday, writing that he remains “committed to passing an infrastructure bill.”
“It would be helpful if you came to tomorrow’s meeting with your infrastructure priorities and specifics regarding how much funding you would dedicate to each,” he continued. “Your caucus has expressed a wide range of priorities, and it is unclear which ones have your support.”
Pelosi and Schumer appeared to ignore his request in a statement they released ahead of the meeting.
“We look forward to hearing the President’s plan for how to pay for this package,” they wrote.
Last month, Pelosi and Schumer had announced that Trump had agreed to the $2 trillion price tag for their infrastructure plan, but would need to meet again to discuss how to pay for it. Following their initial meeting, Schumer noted that they had asked Trump for his ideas as to how to fund the bill. They expected Trump to present his proposal in this second meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
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