Trump is preparing $ 1tn infrastructure bill to facilitate recovery

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President Donald Trump plans to announce a $ 1tn infrastructure bill in an effort to push Congress to spend more on roads and bridges, as the US economy continues to reel in the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Three sources familiar with the plan, Trump said, would propose spending $ 1tn over a 10-year period. The White House is scheduled to release the plan in the coming weeks, with Democrats and Republicans debating annual spending on a wide range of infrastructure.

A senior official warned that the plan was still “fluid and could take time”. He said there would be an overlap with the infrastructure bills legislators are debating on Capitol Hill as part of their annual budget process, but that Mr. Trump wanted a much more ambitious package.

Trump has often touted the need for more infrastructure spending, but has struggled to work with Congress. He abandoned talks with the Democrats on a $ 2tn infrastructure bill last year because he was angry that they were pursuing investigations that led to his indictment by the House of Representatives .

Democrats and Republicans agree that the United States needs to spend more money to repair its dilapidated roads, bridges and other infrastructure. But there have been many disagreements over how to pay for it.

Trump has in the past shown a willingness to support a higher gasoline tax, but Republicans have been largely opposed. Significant passage of legislation is also much more difficult in a presidential election year.

Trump will need the support of the Democrats since they took over the House. But underscoring the nascent nature of his proposal, the Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, speaker, were unaware of the plan, according to several aid congresses.

A Democrat warned that Mr. Trump had often talked about doing something important about infrastructure.

“Infrastructure was like Lucy pulling away from football from Charlie Brown. Whenever he thinks “this time it’s true,” he says, referring to a common joke in the comic bubbles.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week will consider the “Investing in the Act of America”. Democracy led bill would authorize nearly 500bn in spending on highways and roads over five years, up 46% from current levels. It includes more money for roads, bridges and transportation systems, including Amtrak, the rail service.

Rodney Slater, who has served as secretary of transportation for the Clinton administration, said the positive reaction in the markets reflects optimism that the administration and Congress may be able to find common ground.

Mr. Slater said the Democratic 500bn plan over five years was not that far from the proposed administration to spend $ 1tn over a decade. He added that if there was a debate over how to finance public spending, the economic shock from Covid-19 could encourage lawmakers to take action.

“The stars can be lining up where political considerations will take a place in the” challenge of the moment, “said Mr. Slater, a partner at Squire Patton Boggs.

Democrats and Republicans are currently far apart in terms of bridging the differences which they see as a fourth rescue stimulus.

The “Investing in the Act of America” ​​is part of a broad framework defined by the Democrats in January, to broaden infrastructure spending. Since then, Ms. Pelosi has made repeated calls for investment in infrastructure, in an effort to stimulate job creation to help the country recover from the pandemic of economic fallout.

But Mick Mulvaney, a former chief of staff to Mr. Trump, says that spending on infrastructure was not the best way to provide a rapid economic recovery.

“The infrastructure is a really, really difficult tool to use as a stimulus simply because it takes too long to get money in the system,” he told Fox News.

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