U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders agreed on Tuesday to spend $2 trillion on roads, bridges, water, broadband and power grids, and will meet again in three weeks to discuss how to pay for the plan, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters outside the White House.
“We just had a very productive meeting with the president of the United States,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters after the meeting at the White House. “We did come to one agreement: That the agreement would be big and bold.”
Both Republicans and Democrats have supported taking measures to strengthen U.S. infrastructure, but the price tag and measures to pay for the proposal, which would need the approval of Congress, may be a stumbling block to cooperation.
“We agreed on a number, which was very, very good — $2 trillion for infrastructure. Originally we had started with a lower — even the president was eager to push it up to $2 trillion,” Schumer said.
Trump wants to speed up permit approvals to boost construction projects as part of any infrastructure plan, a White House adviser said earlier on Tuesday.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters the discussions with lawmakers on infrastructure should be bipartisan, and warned Democrats not to try to include their ideas on combating climate change in any legislation.
In a letter to the president released on Monday, Pelosi and Schumer outlined their priorities for draft legislation, which they said included renewable energy, broadband, water, school, and housing infrastructure.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton, Steve Holland, Makini Brice and Jeff Mason; Editing by Bernadette Baum)