Let’s keep the bonhomie going and get a spending package passed!
You’d think that President Trump and Congressional Democrats would be loathe to work together to get any kind of legislation enacted in Washington, especially as a presidential election cycle heats up. Right? That’s what I’d think, and I’m a very smart politics-knower.
But it looks like they’re going to give it a shot, though! Good on ’em!
Trump shared white tic-tacs with Pelosi during infrastructure meeting — apparently his go-to move with the Speaker, since he did the same thing during the St. Patrick’s Day reception!
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) April 30, 2019
No word from the president, who was busy after the meeting trying to influence policy at the Federal Reserve via Twitter. But that Tic-tac is a good sign. And, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, it was a “productive” meeting. And White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said as much, too.
Pelosi told reporters that they and the president agreed on two things. First, the entire package should be total $2 trillion, which is no small increase from the $200 billion Trump earmarked for infrastructure spending in his last budget proposal (the administration, for what it’s worth, claimed that $200 billion would seed an additional $800 billion in private spending).
Second, they agreed to meet again in three weeks to hear the president’s proposals for funding such a package – because, as Schumer pointed out, without Trump already on board it will be hard to move anything through the Senate.
The Democrats, in advance of their White House visit, sent a letter to the president saying any infrastructure package they would support must account for climate change, which is a priority on the left; and it must include “Buy America” provisions to keep all of this spending in the 50 states and create American manufacturing jobs, which polling shows is a priority for everybody.
You’ll recall that President Trump has signed more than one executive order regarding Buy America, which reveals that the administration understands just how popular these kinds of rules are, but does little else; the orders are more or less superficial.
“In terms of legislative policy and regulatory impact, there was none whatsoever,” Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul recently told the American Prospect. “The practical effect of what the administration has done is virtually nothing.”
Maybe it’ll be in an honest-to-god, humongous and long-overdue infrastructure package that the president finally gets serious about Buy America? Time will tell.