May 17, 2019 3:00 PM, EDT

Sen. Wicker: Figuring Out Funding for 'Really Big' Infrastructure Package 'Will Take Time'

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Commerce panel chairmanSen. Roger Wicker at a rally in Tupelo, Miss., in November. Wicker indicated agreement on the ways to fund the policy initiatives of an infrastructure package has not been reached. (Thomas Graning/Associated Press)

While congressional transportation leaders continue to negotiate a massive infrastructure package, agreement over ways to fund its policy initiatives has not been reached, the leader of the Commerce Committee in the U.S. Senate said May 16.

“This will take time,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Commerce panel chairman, told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during the group’s Infrastructure Week advocacy forum. “If we do something really, really big, we need to realistically have a pay-for that works.”

Although infrastructure is perceived as policy with the potential for bipartisanship, party leaders on Capitol Hill have yet to formally unveil funding proposals this year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has echoed Wicker’s sentiment. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) indicated she will wait for President Donald Trump to reveal a roadmap for funding such a measure.

Trump and Pelosi are expected to discuss infrastructure funding policy May 22, aides told Transport Topics. The White House declined to comment on the upcoming meeting.

After meeting on April 30, Pelosi said her leadership team and Trump agreed to proceed with a $2 trillion infrastructure package.

In 2018, Trump’s 10-year, $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan was not picked up by the Republican-led House and Senate. The president’s plan would have relied significantly on nonfederal funds.