Congressional Democrats, Trump meet on $2 trillion infrastructure outline

Riverside Regional Water Quality Control Plant Phase 1 Expansion

President Donald J. Trump, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), met last week to discuss the possibility of a bipartisan infrastructure deal. The two sides reportedly reached an agreement on the outline of a $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

Details on the agreement reached at the meeting are still emerging, but it appears the White House and Congressional Democrats have not reached agreement on how to pay for the infrastructure package – something that could be a major sticking point for talks going forward.

Still, the announcement indicates that infrastructure investment remains one of the few current areas of potential bipartisan agreement in Washington, D.C. The president and Congressional leaders are expected to meet again in the coming weeks to continue discussions.

Prior to the meeting, Pelosi and Schumer sent a letter to the White House expressing their desire that water and resiliency issues be included in any package. This echoes the message the water sector has been advancing, including during Water Week 2019 last month, and reiterates the continued success of the sector’s call to elevate water as a national priority. According to the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (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.

In advance of the meeting, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) was active in the media pushing for inclusion of water as a key component of any agreement, according to the organization.

Related to the meeting, NACWA CEO Adam Krantz was quoted in The Hill newspaper, an influential Washington publication, outlining the importance of additional federal infrastructure investment to help address cost and affordability issues.
In 2018, the Trump administration released a 53-page document detailing its legislative outline for an infrastructure plan, which at the time 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.

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