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.”
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” …
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 30, 2019
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.
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” …
RIGHT!?!? WTAF are theydoing normalizing this? Stop negotiating with the terrorist. That’s not how this works!
— Kyrs (@KyrsL) April 30, 2019
Where are your priorities?? There’s no negotiating with this #TraitorTot!! Why is it that neither one of you have any sense of urgency as to what this asshole is doing to our country!!??
— SHS (@shsordo) April 30, 2019
You better have some secret plan up your sleeve cuz many of us think negotiating with a criminal is not a good policy. And it’s not a good look for the Dems. We’re looking for courage, integrity, morality, principles. Initiate that.
— Feminineisrising (@Noursepatty) May 1, 2019
1) you KNOW Trump either lied in the meeting or will change his mind soon after; 2) you KNOW he’s just trying to run out the clock until the next Russian election; 3) spending time negotiating with a bad faith negotiator only distracts you from useful work.
— Wayne Allen Jones (@WayneAllenJones) May 1, 2019
You are wasting time and our sovereignty on negotiating with a liar and thief that will go back on any word he has promised. You should be spending every minute pursuing legal avenues for removing him from office ASAP. We the people need bold action for the moral of our country
— Daniel Louis Duncan (@DanielLouisDun1) April 30, 2019
It’s hard to imagine how difficult it must be to try negotiating with a pathological liar, a traitor who is always thinking how he& his family are going to benefit rather than how America benefits.
— Resa Harrison (@Americancrawl) April 30, 2019
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.
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