Congressional Democrats were at the White House Tuesday to discuss a path forward for infrastructure legislation, and discussions appear to have yielded a broad framework for a bill.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters after the meeting that President Donald Trump had agreed to explore a $2 trillion infrastructure package. The deal will not only address traditional infrastructure like roads and bridges, but also, as White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders noted in a statement, expand broadband access “for our great farmers and rural America.”
Such a legislative bargain could prove difficult in the current political climate as House Democrats work to investigate various aspects of the Trump administration, but Schumer downplayed the oversight activities potentially sinking a bipartisan infrastructure package. “The two are not mutually exclusive and we were glad (Trump) didn’t make it that way,” he said.
Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, said he's happy to see the meeting conclude with both sides a little closer to a deal, and "we hope the bipartisanship on display during this initial meeting is not a fleeting moment but rather will start to build momentum toward a comprehensive infrastructure bill that will address the needs of both urban and rural America."
Such an effort, Steenhoek added, needs to also include "the needs of our nation's roads and bridges, highways and interstates, inland waterways, rail infrastructure, and ports."
"We look forward to continuing to promote an infrastructure that will be a facilitator of farmer profitability, not an obstacle to it," he said.
The two sides have agreed to meet again in three weeks, when Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi say Trump is expected to offer funding suggestions for the initiative.
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