AMWA: Trump, Congressional leaders expected to regroup on infrastructure talks

President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders are expected to circle back on talks this week regarding comprehensive infrastructure legislation and the likelihood of passing such a bill in the near future, according to the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA).

Trump is expected to host House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) at the White House to discuss the potential for developing a broad infrastructure bill. The meeting is being planned for the morning of Tuesday, April 30, according to reports.

Since the president’s election, members of both parties have repeatedly suggested that the two sides could find common ground on a broad infrastructure package. No such comprehensive legislation has emerged, though, even as Congress has enacted a number of infrastructure-related bills, including last year’s America’s Water Infrastructure Act. That legislation reauthorized EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act programs.

The biggest obstacle to reaching a comprehensive infrastructure bill is how to pay for it.

According to AMWA, Pelosi has indicated that House Democrats want to pursue infrastructure legislation that would spend up to $2 trillion on a wide range of projects, but Republicans have resisted calls to impose new taxes on high earners to generate the necessary revenue.

Overall, plans for comprehensive infrastructure funding legislation, one of the president’s campaign pledges, have largely stalled. More than a year ago, the White House unveiled some specifics about its $1.5 billion-plus infrastructure investment plan after calling for a new commitment to rebuilding America’s infrastructure.

The Trump administration at the time released a 53-page document detailing its legislative outline for the plan, which included: a call for $200 billion in federal funding to spur at least $1.5 trillion in investments; a $50 billion investment in infrastructure for rural America; greater empowerment of state and local authorities; elimination of barriers that prevent efficient development of projects; more streamlined permitting; and more. Trump has also called for an infrastructure package to engage private sector dollars to help close the investment gap.

Last March, following the release of Trump’s infrastructure proposal, Senate Democrats countered with a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that is supported by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).

Source: AMWA

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