Trump, Democrats agree to spend $2 trn on US infrastructure

Washington: Democratic congressional leaders — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer — said they have agreed to seek a deal with President Donald Trump on a 2-trillion-US-dollar infrastructure package.

“We agreed on a number, which was very, very good, 2 trillion dollars for infrastructure,” Xinhua quoted Schumer as saying to reporters on Tuesday.

“This was a very, very good start …We hope it will go to a constructive conclusion.”

Pelosi said both sides had “come to one agreement: that the agreement would be big and bold.”

However, they said the Democrats and the White House have not yet agreed on how to pay for the 2-trillion-dollar package to revive the country’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges, waterways and broadband.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement after the meeting, saying the two sides “had an excellent and productive” discussion about rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. She didn’t mention the bill expenditure and no congressional Republicans were invited to Tuesday’s gathering.

Democratic lawmakers will not propose their own offsets at the next meeting, leaving it for Trump to come up with pay-fors he can support, according to a TheHill news daily report.

Trump and members of Congress from both parties have long agreed on the need to spend more to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, but disagreements on how to pay for it and what types of projects should be included have stymied progress, said the report, noting that few in Washington believe that a landmark piece of legislation will move through Congress this year with the 2020 presidential election kicking into high gear.