Both sides question Nancy and Chuck’s powwow with Trump resulting in $2T infrastructure deal

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer speak to the media following a meeting with US President Donald Trump about the partial government shutdown at the White House in Washington, DC, January 9, 2019. - Trump stormed out of negotiations Wednesday on funding a US-Mexico border wall when Democratic opponents said they would not agree to the project. "A total waste of time," Trump tweeted about his meeting with top Democratic congressional leaders. "I said bye-bye, nothing else works!" Schumer told journalists: "The president just got up and walked out." (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)
(FILE PHOTO by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Following a private meeting Tuesday with President Donald Trump, congressional Democrat leaders House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed that the president has agreed to spend up to $2 trillion on an infrastructure deal of some type.

“We agreed on a number, which was very, very, good. $2 trillion for infrastructure. Originally, we had started a little lower, and even the President was eager to push it up to $2 trillion. That is a very good thing,” Schumer exuberantly said at a press conference held outside the White House.

“We think we can work with the President,” Pelosi said, adding, “While we may have our difficulties in other areas, we cannot ignore the needs of the American people as we go forward.”

“I believe we can do both at once,” Schumer said. “We can come up with some good ideas on infrastructure. We want to hear his ideas on funding. That’s going to be the crucial point, in my opinion. And the House and the Senate can proceed in its oversight responsibilities. The two are not mutually exclusive.”

Listen:

Congressional Republicans, whose control of the upper chamber of Congress threatens to prevent this deal from ever manifesting, have not responded well to the murky proposal.

“How this could be achieved in a fiscally responsible way remains the biggest question,” Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said to The Hill. “Traditional methods for this increased investment would meet substantial pushback.”

As it stands, the United States is currently $22 trillion debt. To pay for this exorbitant infrastructure plan, Democrats may try to hike taxes — and with the president’s approval. Last year Trump reportedly endorsed a stunning 25 cent per gallon hike in the gas tax to pay for infrastructure spending.

“The devil is always in the details,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, the top Republican congresswoman on the House Appropriations subcommittee responsible for transportation spending, added.

Indeed, and the known details of the infrastructure deal are troubling.

In a formal statement published after the meeting Tuesday, Pelosi spoke of “advancing public health with clean air and clean water” (which already exist), “addressing climate change” (similar proposals have all been extremely radical) and “expanding broadband to rural, urban and other undeserved areas” (could this mean subsidized Internet service?).

“In the meeting, our Members emphasized the importance of the infrastructure being for the future, with respect to the prevailing wage and to the imperative to involve women, veteran and minority-owned businesses in construction,” her statement continued.

That sounds like so-called “social justice” …

The American people reportedly already spend $8.2 billion annually on a program that provides, among other services, free broadband access to 20,000 rural residents across the states.

It’s unclear whether the infrastructure plan would also include additional funding for the president’s proposed southern U.S. border wall. A wall is a form of infrastructure, after all.

What’s also unclear is why Trump is negotiating in good faith with the same Democrats who’ve broached the idea of impeaching him from office for crimes that he never actually committed.

“It’s not reasonable to expect the president to work with you on Monday on a big infrastructure bill and have you punching him in the face on Tuesday on 15 investigations,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney reportedly said at an event Tuesday in Southern Carolina.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

Yet despite the valid concerns about Democrats not negotiating in good faith, it’s mainly their base who’ve been screaming and pounding their fists on social media about the meeting.

To them, it’s simply unacceptable that Pelosi and Schumer are negotiating with a “terrorist” …

Look:

The president is neither a “terrorist,” a “traitor” nor a “criminal.”

The White House has for its part described the meeting as “excellent and productive” and argued that it’s time America stop “foolishly prioritizing the interests of other countries over our own.”

“We have to invest in this country’s future and bring our infrastructure to a level better than it has ever been before,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Not included in her statement was the $2 trillion price tag cited by Schumer.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

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Vivek Saxena

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