Senate Democrats Want to Enact a $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
00:36, Jan 26, 2017
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Senate Democrats on Tuesday answered President Donald Trump's campaign pledge to invest $1 trillion in US infrastructure by introducing their own spending plan.
Trump's infrastructure plan may face resistance from congressional Republicans who are concerned about how to pay for it, said Richard LeFrak, a NY developer appointed by the president to a panel that will oversee it. Other investments would include $110 billion to modernize outdated water and sewer systems, $75 billion to modernize schools, $130 billion to replace and expand bus and rail systems and $100 billion for affordable housing and eliminating blighted properties.
The Democrats' move to put forward a substantive policy that would create millions of jobs - something Trump hasn't done - isn't just smart politics; it's good policy.
Most of the funding would be focused on four key areas, including $210 billion to fix bridges and roads and an additional $200 billion for the creation of the Vital Infrastructure Projects program. "And we call on the President to persuade his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate to drop their opposition to investing in infrastructure and get on board with this plan".
"There will be no cuts to education or healthcare programs", Schumer said.
The key difference between the $1 trillion plan Trump offered during his campaign and the one the Democrats are proposing is who will pay for it.
"From our largest cities to our smallest towns, communities across the country are struggling to meet the challenges of aging infrastructure", Senator Chuck Schumer of NY, the Democratic leader, will say.
He said money for the plan would come out of the Treasury. The plan represents an opening bid by Democratic lawmakers for one of Trump's top domestic priorities and may be created to drive a wedge between Trump and congressional Republicans. He told the Syracuse Post-Standard editorial board in 2016 that the 35 percent tax rate on US corporations overseas could be decreased so additional profits would be spent domestically, thus creating an "infrastructure bank" within the Treasury. McConnell seemed a bit miffed at the camaraderie between Trump and fellow New Yorker Chuck Schumer, telling reporters afterward that he "enjoyed the president and Sen".
Trump's infrastructure program will likely be funded through an overhaul of the federal tax code that Democrats could support, according to Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The Democratic plan could give Congressional Democrats more leverage as they try to negotiate a final bill.
At his first press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer complained without a hint of irony about Democrats blocking the confirmation of President Trump's cabinet nominees.
During the presidential election campaign, Mr. Trump repeatedly pledged to create jobs, in part with a massive investment in infrastructure. He is asking President Donald Trump to support the legislation. Elaine Chao, Trump's nominee for transportation secretary, told senators last week that she wants to "unleash the potential" of private investors to boost transportation.
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