President Trump intends to initiate one of his campaign promises in January: infrastructure. The White House will be pushing their package onto Congress and hopes to get bipartisan support. Chances are strong that he’ll need it.
After passing tax cuts this week, the White House will get push back from both sides of the aisle on his infrastructure plan. Democrats, who have generally supported a massive infrastructure rebuild and maintenance plan as proposed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, will push against it for political reasons. They will say the tax cuts will cost too much in revenue and therefore there won’t be enough money left to fund the infrastructure plan.
On the other side, fiscal conservatives will be making a similar push without admitting anything wrong with the tax cuts. They’ll say government spending needs to be reined in, not increased as the infrastructure plan is certain to do.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short made an appeal for bipartisanship:
“There’s no doubt there is a pathway forward on this,” Short said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Both Democrats and Republicans say our infrastructure is crumbling, and we need to fix it. The big question is, will Democrats put politics aside and work with us?”
Short said Democrats need to meet the GOP — which controls the White House and Congress — “halfway.”
“Will they actually partner with us to try to do things for the American people?” Short asked.
This populist plan makes sense on the surface. Our infrastructure is aged and in desperate need for repair. However, the proper way to pay for it would be massive cuts to spending that would need to include major entitlement reform. The White House has been reluctant to do this, though Speaker of the House Paul Ryan may be able to dangle the infrastructure bill to entice President Trump to relent. Would the President be willing to give up on one populist promise – preserving entitlements – in order to push forward another populist promise with infrastructure fixes? We’ll find out next year.