House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer announced after a meeting with President Donald Trump April 30 that an agreement had been reached in principle to allocate $2 trillion for a potential infrastructure deal, CNN reports.
Many details regarding the plan, including how it would be paid for, have yet to be determined. However, there are initial signs of optimism, according to Democratic leadership.
“It was a very constructive meeting,” Schumer said. "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."
Although an infrastructure bill has long been talked about by President Trump, many question whether such a plan would be able to get enough bipartisan support to gain traction—especially in the wake of the Mueller report, which has increased tensions between Democratic and Republication lawmakers as of late.
Despite the state of relations between the two parties, Schumer said that he was optimistic about getting a deal done. The two parties will reconvene in three weeks, at which time President Trump will outline more specifics in terms of how the infrastructure deal may be funded.
"We told the president that we needed his ideas on funding. ... Where does he propose that we can fund this?” Schumer said. “Because certainly in the Senate, if we don't have him on board, it would be very hard to get the Senate to go along. We said we would meet in three weeks and he would present to us some of his ideas on funding. So, this was a very, very good start and we hope it will go to a constructive conclusion."
Prior to the meeting, Pelosi told reporters that Democrats were going into the meeting looking to find common ground with the president.
"Our message is: Let's work together," Pelosi told reporters April 29, CNN reports. "The American people understand the need to build the infrastructure of our country. Let's find a solution."
Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said prior to the meeting that legislation would need to benefit all involved in order for consensus to be reached on any infrastructure deal.
"As long as everyone views it as a collective win, then it would be doable," he said.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn, Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Lujan, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Richard Neal and chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Peter DeFazio were in attendance, according to reports. In addition, Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin, Patty Murray and Debbie Stabenow were also in attendance along with Ron Wyden, the top Democratic member on the Senate Finance Committee, and Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Associated General Contractors of America CEO Stephen Sandherr issued the following statement on behalf of the association April 30 following news of the infrastructure agreement.
“The fact President Trump and Democratic Congressional leaders agree to enact a much-needed new infrastructure measure underscores just how vital these investments are to the country’s continued prosperity and global competitiveness. Congress and the administration need to act quickly to convert this bipartisan agreement into a comprehensive infrastructure measure that will fund significant upgrades to our aging and over-burdened infrastructure.
“Once enacted, these infrastructure improvements will cut commuting times, lower shipping costs, support new economic development projects and allow our businesses to remain globally competitive for years to come. As part of our forceful advocacy for these new infrastructure measures, we have identified—through our Americans for Better Infrastructure campaign—tens of thousands of Americans of all political persuasions who expect Congress to act. Moving forward, we will encourage these Americans and our members from across the country to urge Congress and the administration to deliver on today’s promised measure.”