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President, House, Senate chiefs agree on US$2 trillion highways deal

HOPES soared that news of agreement had been forged between the White House and the two houses of Congress on a US$2 trillion infrastructure funding scheme, which means that the decaying 60-year-old Interstate Highway system will be renovated at long last

President, House, Senate chiefs agree on US$2 trillion highways deal

HOPES soared that news of agreement had been forged between the White House and the two houses of Congress on a US$2 trillion infrastructure funding scheme, which means that the decaying 60-year-old Interstate Highway system will be renovated at long last

08 May 2019 - 19:00

HOPES soared that news of agreement had been forged between the White House and the two houses of Congress on a US$2 trillion infrastructure funding scheme, which means that the decaying 60-year-old Interstate Highway system will be renovated at long last.

This follows meetings with President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.



'We agreed on a number, which was very, very good: $2 trillion for infrastructure,' Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer told reporters after the meeting, which included 12 Democrats but no Republicans. 'Originally we had started it a little lower. Even the president was eager to push it up to $2 trillion.'



A Republican member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said the plan is to create an infrastructure investment fund to pay for federal priorities like federal highways and bridges and provide block grants to states, The Hill reported.



They will meet again in three weeks to discuss how it would be funded, according to American Shipper.



Ms Pelosi described the agreement as 'big and bold' and Mr Schumer said it includes roads, bridges, highway and water with emphasis on broadband and the power grid.



'We told the president that we needed his ideas on funding,' Mr Schumer said. 'Where does he propose that we can fund this because certainly in the Senate if we don't have him on board it will be very hard to get the Senate to go along.'



Republicans questioned how to pay for the bill and opposed an increase in taxes. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel said changing the tax code to pay for the bill was a 'nonstarter', according to the Wall Street Journal.


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