Republicans Balk At $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Price Tag

REUTERS/Whitney Curtis

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Republicans and Democrats are balking at the price tag for President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending plan, Politico reports.

“$1.5 trillion, I think, kind of sucked the oxygen out of the room for a moment, as no one expected a number that big,” Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford told reporters. “And the obvious thing is, where are we with debt and deficit and how are we going to be able to pull it together?”

As Trump laid out in the Tuesday speech, the federal government would provide the initial $200 billion in seed money, spending that “should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment.”

Republicans are considering increasing the fiscal ceilings for domestic program spending to pay for infrastructure costs.

Democrats are also seeking budgetary clarification, and seemingly unwilling to declare their automatic cooperation on adopting any infrastructure bill, which could become a huge issue for the upcoming midterm elections.

“Where’s that trillion and a half coming from? Was that the trillion and a half he added to the national debt with the tax bill?” asked Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin.

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, the ranking Democratic on the Environment and Public Works Committee, suggested Trump’s infrastructure plans are rooted in rhetoric and not grounded in policy because it’s “the same promise he made to the American people in his speech last year — but tomorrow we will still be waiting for his long overdue plan to do so.”

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