Executive Intelligence Review


National Debate on Infrastructure Erupts

Feb. 16, 2018 (EIRNS)—On Feb. 13, the day after the release of the White House’s “Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America,” President Trump held an open, televised roundtable with different Senators and Representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, ostensibly to discuss the aluminum, steel industries and trade policy around that. Not long into the discussion, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told the President that he wanted an infrastructure bill with “real Federal dollars,” and Trump responded that he wanted Brown’s proposal urgently.

“We can go bipartisan on infrastructure,” President Trump told the Senators.

“What we put out was an opening bid, but I really want a bipartisan plan. I’m ready, willing and able.... I would love to have you get back to us quickly, ‘cause we can do this quickly and we have to rebuild our country ... the faster you get back, the faster we can move.”

Senator Brown replied that

“we have a bipartisan proposal.... We’re glad to work together on a real infrastructure bill with real dollars, plus what you can leverage in the communities and private sector.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) backed up Brown’s statement, telling the President, “I think there’s an opportunity for real bipartisanship here.”

Trump reiterated that he

“really would like to see you come back with a counterproposal on the infrastructure. I think we’re going to get that done.... We’re going to get it done. It’s something we should do. We have to fix our country: We have to fix our roads and our tunnels and bridges and everything, so, if you can work together on that, and I am ready, willing and able, on infrastructure—that is such a natural for us to get done. And I think we could probably do it.”

Similarly, from the House side, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Bill Schuster (R-Pa.) made several media appearances Feb. 15 to say that the Committee was taking President Trump’s “initiative” and working on bipartisan legislation to “produce real Federal dollars” for infrastructure investments. He told The Hill that the committee’s ranking member, Oregon Democrat

“Peter DeFazio and I are working on a bill together. And based on our conversations at the White House yesterday, I think there’s going to be an opportunity for it.”