President Trump and Democratic Congressional leaders have announced their intention to push for a massive national infrastructure program that would provide funding for needed bridge, highway, waterways, and railroad upgrades.
The tentative agreement, carrying a $2 trillion price tag, would also include funding for rural broadband infrastructure projects.
The agreement was announced at the end of a meeting with the President, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Democrat Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
Schumer characterized that meeting as a “very good start, and we hope it will go to a constructive conclusion.”
Schumer added that there was “goodwill in the meeting,” which he said was “different than some of the other meetings we have had.”
In a statement, Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors, said that if approved, the infrastructure improvements will “cut commuting times, lower shipping costs, support economic development projects and allow our businesses to remain globally competitive for years to come.”
It has been reported that Trump will sometime in the next three weeks unveil a more specific infrastructure plan, one that will presumably identify funding sources.
The $2 trillion figure is significantly higher than the $200 billion proposed by the White House in early 2018, which Trump said could be supported with cuts to other federal programs.
That proposal died in Congress after the President said he was opposed to raising the current federal excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel in order to pay for an infrastructure initiative.
By Garry Boulard
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