By Kevin Freking | The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Reality has set in during the three weeks since President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders agreed to work together on a $2 trillion package to invest in roads, bridges and broadband.
Republican leaders in Congress have shown little enthusiasm for the price tag, and even less for the idea of raising the federal fuel tax to help pay for upgrading the nation’s infrastructure. Trump himself has suggested that Democrats are somehow setting a trap to get him to go along with a tax increase.
Trump and Democratic lawmakers will meet at the White House on Wednesday for Round 2 of their infrastructure talks.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said after their last White House meeting in late April that there was a consensus on one aspect of infrastructure: The agreement would be big and bold. But funding is a different matter. Democrats emerged saying they would return to hear Trump’s suggestions on how to pay for infrastructure.
But Trump expressed wariness in a Fox News interview that aired Sunday, saying he thought the White House was “being played by the Democrats a little bit. You know, I think what they want me to do is say, ‘Well, what we’ll do is raise taxes,’ and we’ll do this and this and this, and then they’ll have a news conference, see, ‘Trump wants to raise taxes.’”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed the potential for a sweeping plan or for raising the gas tax at a recent Senate GOP lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, according to those familiar with the meeting.
And House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said that it was unrealistic to place the funding decision with the president. Democrats will need to make suggestions, too.
“You don’t ask the president, …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World