House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she plans to meet with President Donald Trump next week to discuss an infrastructure deal, even as she resists calls from some fellow Democrats to initiate impeachment proceedings against him.
“Impeachment is one of the most divisive paths we could go down as a country,” Pelosi said April 23 at an event in New York organized by Time magazine. The House can pursue its economic agenda at the same time it investigates Trump after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on the 2016 election, she said.
Infrastructure and lowering prescription drug prices top the House agenda, said Pelosi of California.
“These are two that we are very optimistic we can accomplish,” she said.
The April 30 infrastructure meeting, which Pelosi requested in a call to Trump earlier this month, will include Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, according to a senior Democratic aide.
White House spokesman Judd Deere confirmed plans for the meeting next week.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (Anna Moneymaker/Bloomberg News)
“The president wants a bipartisan infrastructure package that rebuilds crumbling infrastructure, invests in the projects and industries of tomorrow, and promotes permitting efficiency,” he said.
Pelosi told reporters earlier this month she would like an infrastructure package of at least $1 trillion although she would prefer it to be closer to $2 trillion. How to fund such a plan is “to be determined,” she said.
Trump has proposed spending $200 billion in federal funds over 10 years to leverage $800 billion in private funding. The federal funding would be paid for by unspecified spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.
Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has proposed a gas tax increase as a funding option.
Pelosi “is going to talk about big numbers and we will see how it goes from there,” said DeFazio of Oregon.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, has not been supportive of a gas tax increase or an infrastructure plan that involves a large infusion of federal funds in line with what Pelosi is seeking.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said this month he would support a gas tax increase and that he’s hopeful for a deal because Trump’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, is involved in the discussions.
“Ivanka Trump is playing a significant role in all of this. That gives me hope,” said Hoyer of Maryland.