President Trump is meeting with top Democrats at the White House again on infrastructure, this time on how to pay for the $2 trillion they want to spend.
A meeting on infrastructure earlier last month prompted optimistic assessments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, but Republicans balked at the $2 trillion price tag. The White House has not committed to whether Mr. Trump supports an increase in the gas tax to fund improvements to the nation's aging roads, bridges and other key infrastructure components.
Pelosi is coming to the White House following a meeting on Capitol Hill about ongoing investigations and congressional oversight of the president and his administration, a touchy topic for the president. Mr. Trump spent part of his morning Wednesday directing angry tweets at Democrats, insisting Democrats are "getting ZERO work done in Congress."
"All they are focused on is trying to prove the Mueller Report wrong, the Witch Hunt!" Mr. Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning.
The path forward on infrastructure is unclear, with Republicans not wanting to spend as much as Mr. Trump is willing to spend, and opposing new taxes. When the White House attempted an infrastructure push last year,.
"There is nothing easy about a USA Infrastructure Plan, especially when our great Country has spent an astounding 7 trillion dollars in the Middle East over the last 19 years, but I am looking hard at a bipartisan plan of 1 to 2 trillion dollars. Badly needed!" the president tweeted earlier this month.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said what happens on Wednesday is up to Democrats, and suggested that trade will be key in the conversation as well, since Mr. Trump wants his U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement to pass Congress.
"I think that us a question you have to ask the Democrats — we sent a letter outlining what we would like to see but the president also made clear in that we would like to get USMCA done," Sanders told reporters outside the White House Wednesday morning. "We need that completed so we can turn our attention fully to things like infrastructure but we also need Democrats to decide what Infrastructure means to them. It can't mean everything that exists."
She continued, "Infrastructure has to be defined, we need to know what their priorities are and what they want to see done…whether it is going to be about rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, whether it is about expanding broadband or whether it is some of these crazy new deal proposals." Sanders added, "We need those things defined before we can put a price tag on it and figure out how to pay for it."