$2 Trillion Infrastructure ‘Deal’ Looks Entirely Dependent on Trump
April 30, 2019 (EIRNS)—A dozen Congressional Democrats left a 90-minute meeting on infrastructure legislation at the White House today claiming that they had agreed with President Donald Trump on a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the President plans to propose ways to fund the plan, at another White House meeting in three weeks.
President Trump’s extraordinary “good will” at the meeting appears to have made possible whatever progress was made, as Schumer acknowledged to media afterwards. The President
- sent his Budget Director Mick Mulvaney (who is also Acting Chief of Staff) to California to speak at the Milken Foundation conference, thus absenting him from the White House meeting (even from Los Angeles, Mulvaney bitched and moaned and openly hoped the meeting would fail to achieve any results);
- showing great political confidence, made no demand for, or even mention of Congressional Democrats ending their grand Watergate inquisition into his administration;
- made no comment about Schumer and Pelosi having demanded climate change funding be included in the “plan”;
- accepted the $2 trillion figure, and the onus of responsibility to find such credit. The New York Times quoted participant Sen. Thomas Carper (DE): “By the end of the meeting, he [Trump] said, ‘I have responsibility to lead on this front as well, and I’m prepared to do so.’ ”
Schumer acknowledged Trump’s good will in a press conference afterward; apparently, he, too, refrained from raising his “precondition” that the President agree to reverse the 2018 tax cuts to pay for infrastructure.
Although it is reported that the Gateway Project—Schumer’s baby—came up, there was clearly no substance in the form of any infrastructure or science-driver mission; and the ideas for generating funding—if any—will be the source of battles. President Trump, nonetheless, has a chance to override this.
It could be noted that on a completely different flank of the economy, Trump sent this Twitter message today: “China is adding great stimulus to its economy while at the same time keeping interest rates low. Our Federal Reserve has incessantly lifted interest rates....”