Following a successful first round of talks with President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are to meet with Trump for a second time next week to discuss an infrastructure package.
The news of the upcoming meeting was confirmed by a Democratic aide, who said the two congressional leaders are expected to visit the White House on Wednesday morning, but did not provide any details as to whether other lawmakers would also attend the meeting.
According to a Senate aide, President Trump will present his plans for funding the package estimated at $2 trillion. Trump met with Pelosi and Schumer at the end of April and they agreed to hold a second round of talks in the middle of this month.
The Hill writes that Senator Schumer told the President Democrats proposed that 80 percent of the project be paid by the federal government and the other 20 percent by local governments, as well as that a private-public partnership element is included, but Trump allegedly refused the proposal, saying that he would look into his own funding routes.
The proposal was also met with opposition by congressional Republicans, who were unwilling to accept a package with such a high price tag if that meant adding to the deficit. That is why without the support of the White House, the package is highly unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has likewise voiced doubts about the prospects of a final deal and Democrats are going into the meeting with low expectations given the President’s previous record of inviting the press into the negotiating room, making it harder to do so.
The second meeting comes at a time when congressional Democrats are clashing with the President over their numerous investigation of him and the White House’s stonewalling of their probes. As a result, some have suggested that Democrats should maybe concede on the issue and let Trump get the win.
Infrastructure is seen as one of the issues that could get bipartisan support despite disagreements as to how to pay for it.