- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders admitted Wednesday that Congress will likely not pass President Donald Trump’s massive infrastructure plan this year.
- “I don’t know that there will be one by the end of this year,” Sanders told reporters.
- Political analysts believed Trump’s infrastructure plan had almost no chance to pass before the midterm elections.
One of President Donald Trump’s key legislative goals appears to have fallen by the wayside as the 2018 midterms loom.
Trump’s plan to spend $US250 billion in federal funds to invest in the country’s infrastructure appears to be on the back burner based on comments from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“I don’t know that there will be one by the end of this year,” Sanders said when asked about the prospect of an infrastructure bill getting through Congress in 2018.
Sanders said the Department of Transportation is working to improve America’s roads and bridges. But in terms of additional legislation to support those efforts, she said she was “not aware that that will happen by the end of the year.”
Sanders’ comments confirm suggestions in recent months that the president’s large-scale infrastructure proposal won’t come to fruition anytime soon. Trump even hinted at a speech in March that the package wasn’t going to happen in 2018.
“You’ll probably have to wait until after the election, which isn’t so long down the road,” Trump said. “But we’re going to get this infrastructure going.”
Infrastructure was a key plank of Trump’s economic policy platform, and the White House rolled out details in February. Trump’s plan proposed dedicating $US250 billion in grants in an effort to spur investment from private businesses and local governments. The Trump administration was expecting those matching efforts to boost the price tag of the investments to $US1.5 trillion.
Following the announcement, economists and political analysts were sceptical of the bill’s prospects. In fact, the idea drew opposition from both sides of the aisle: Republicans were concerned about the price tag and Democrats blasted the call for public-private partnerships.
But since the roll out there was little movement on the bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan said in March that the infrastructure package could be split into different bills and attempted to paint the recently passed omnibus bill as a “down payment” on the president’s plan.
Other top GOP goals, such as entitlement reform, are also on ice as the party prepares for a hotly contested 2018 midterm season.
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