Republicans and Democrats alike like to spend money. As is typically the case, the only disagreement is how to pay for it.
Democratic congressional leaders said President Trump agreed to aim for a $2 trillion infrastructure package in a White House meeting on Tuesday, though it remains unclear how they will seek to pay for it.
In unusually positive comments about negotiations with the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) both praised the meeting as productive and said they had agreed to return in three weeks to hear Mr. Trump’s ideas about how to pay for an infrastructure bill.
Democrats disagree internally on how to generate revenue for an infrastructure plan. Mr. Schumer won’t consider a proposal to raise the gas tax, unless Mr. Trump agrees to undo some of the 2017 tax cuts, a person close to the minority leader said. Mr. Schumer, along with several other Democrats, say a gas tax disproportionately hurts poor and working-class people.
Other Democrats, like Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D., Ore.), say they would support increasing the gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in over 25 years, to pay for infrastructure projects.
It is unlikely Republicans will agree to roll back the tax cuts, which Mr. Trump sees as a signature accomplishment. Should Democrats reach agreement in the House, any legislation that proposes raising taxes would be “categorically dead on arrival” in the Senate, a GOP leadership aide said.
Democrats acknowledge that collaborating with the president could give him a win on a major campaign promise as he runs for re-election and members of their party try to defeat him. An infrastructure bill could also help vulnerable Democrats who campaigned on fixing the nation’s roads and bridges and expanding broadband access to rural areas.
Both parties want to spend more money.
Gee, who coulda thunk?
Since they will not agree on raising taxes to cover it all, expect another huge jump in the deficit.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock