One of the ideas to spur new economic growth that President Donald Trump has talked about repeatedly is his idea of forging a $1 trillion infrastructure package to build new roads, bridges, sewer systems and more around the country – but the White House so far has not produced any details of such a plan, and Republicans in the Congress don’t have anything on the table yet, either.
The President will meet with a group of CEO’s at the White House on Tuesday on the issue – it’s something he has highlighted repeatedly since taking the oath of office, even though it has a price tag that makes Republicans in the Congress somewhat queasy.
“We’re talking about a very major infrastructure bill of a trillion dollars — perhaps even more,” Mr. Trump said last week. The idea was front and center in 2016 on the campaign trail, and played a role in his first address to Congress in late February.
But at this point, White House spokesman Sean Spicer has only said the Trump Administration is in the “beginning phases” of putting together an infrastructure plan – which means there is no legislative text ready for action in the Congress.
The big question is, how much money do the feds fork over, and how big should the effort be – as a number of Republican lawmakers have been cool to the idea of spending billions on roads and bridges.
And even when you ask Republicans in the halls of Congress about the development of those plans, you get the feeling that a bill won’t on the floor of the House or Senate any time soon.
“What about infrastructure?” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee said to reporters, when asked about it last week.
“Any sense of when that might happen?” one reporter asked.
“Well, it’s a little early for me to say,” Hatch replied, giving no hint that any decision had been made by top Republicans on how to fund a Trump highway plan.
The problem with the Trump infrastructure plan is that nothing has been proposed, beyond the idea of a $1 trillion dollar, public-private partnership to build new roads and bridges.
And as several lawmakers told me last week, you can’t vote on an idea.