President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Democrats on Wednesday to unveil a way to fund a $2 million infrastructure deal. In a last minute move, Trump, however, said infrastructure won't happen until a trade deal is struck.
“Before we get to infrastructure, it is my strong view that Congress should first pass the important and popular USMCA trade deal,” Trump wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday. “It will replace the job killing Nafta, one of the worst trade deals ever entered into by our nation. Once Congress has passed USMCA we should turn our attention to a bipartisan infrastructure package."
Trump also told Democrats he expected them to come to the table with a clear list of infrastructure priorities and ways to pay for the deal.
“It would be helpful, if you came to tomorrow’s meeting with your infrastructure priorities and specifics regarding how much funding you would dedicate to each,” Trump wrote. “Your caucus has expressed a wide range of priorities, and it is unclear which ones have your support. I had hoped that we could have worked out these priorities following our last meeting, but you canceled a scheduled meeting of our teams, preventing them from advancing our discussions.”
Democrats have been open to the idea of working with Trump on an infrastructure deal. They figure if Trump backs a tax increase of some sort other Republicans would get on board with the move. The administration, however, has looked at their latest budget proposal to see what could be cut. They've also considered selling assets as a way of paying for the infrastructure deal, POLITICO reported. It remains unclear how much money the White House would be willing to allocate towards the deal.
**NEW: Pres. Trump tells Democrat leaders tonight.. in so many words.. 'no infrastructure deal without a deal on the USMCA trade deal first.' Full letter from President to Pelosi/Schumer below... @OANN pic.twitter.com/Pvr8PjPAc4— Patrick Hussion (@PatrickHussion) May 21, 2019