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February 27, 2018 4:30 PM, EST

Trump’s Public Works Plan May Not Advance This Year, John Cornyn Says

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS

A public works package that is one of President Donald Trump’s top priorities may not make it through the Senate this year amid a packed agenda, John Cornyn, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, said in an interview.

“I think it will be challenging,” Cornyn said. “I certainly would be happy if we could, but we’ve got a lot of things to do, that being one of them, and I don’t know if we will have time to get to that.”

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The White House released Trump’s long-awaited infrastructure plan on Feb. 12, a 53-page document meant to be the outline for legislation and the starting point for negotiations with lawmakers on the details. A message seeking comment was left with the White House.

Congress still has to complete and vote on a budget package by March 23, and the House and Senate have been tied up by debates on immigration and guns without a resolution. Lawmakers also will be turning attention to their re-election campaigns before the November congressional elections, which will decide control of Congress.

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“I hope he’s wrong,” Sen. Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, said regarding Cornyn’s comment. “The president has talked so much about infrastructure, transportation, broadband deployment, water-sewer, if we can’t figure out a path forward on this, shame on the president, shame on the administration, shame on the Congress.”

Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said moving an infrastructure package through Congress this year is “still possible.”

With assistance by Yueqi Yang