Dems Seek Left-Wing Pork-Fest Infrastructure Deal That Fails to Mention ‘Roads’

‘Every time Republicans have foolishly given Democrats money promised to roads—the tax dollars are found far away from roads and in the pockets of Democrat special interests…’

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Charles Schumer & Nancy Pelosi/IMAGE: YouTube

(Anna Edgerton and Justin Sink, Bloomberg News) Democratic leaders from Congress laid out their demands for an infrastructure plan in a letter to President Donald Trump Monday, setting the stage for their Tuesday meeting on a policy issue that has bipartisan support in theory but has not advanced in practice.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer laid out three priorities in their letter to Trump:

  • new revenue to pay for “massive” infrastructure needs
  • a focus on climate risk mitigation and incentives to use labor
  • materials from U.S. companies owned by women, minorities and veterans.

Despite pandering to clearly left-leaning priorities regarding tax increases, climate change and identity politics, the Democrat leaders claimed it was a “bipartisan” initiative.

“The issue of infrastructure is a bipartisan congressional priority,” Pelosi and Schumer said in their letter. “This bipartisanship is a reflection of the American people’s recognition of the need to rebuild our infrastructure, to promote commerce, create jobs, advance public health with clean air and clean water, and make our transportation systems safer.”

But the conservative-leaning Americans for Tax Reform pointed out that while it was rife with progressive buzzwords, the letter was lacking in terms that one might normally expect to find in an infrastructure discussion, such as “roads” and “bridges.”

ATR President Grover Norquist said despite the theoretical bipartisanship, the radical left-wingers continued to be cross-purpose with the actual objective of infrastructure.

He noted that they had previously siphoned off infrastructure appropriations for low-priority objectives such as bike paths and wage increases for contracted laborers, while also moving the money into a general fund where it could not be easily tracked.

“Every time Republicans have foolishly given Democrats money promised to roads—the tax dollars are found far away from roads and in the pockets of Democrat special interests,” Norquist said.

Among the tax increases Democrats are considering for their latest pork fest are a 25-cent-per-gallon gas-tax increase and reverting the top individual and corporate rates back to their former highs.

Trump won his 2016 election in part by promising unprecedented investment to upgrade aging infrastructure, and the issue is one of the few policy areas that Democrats cite as an example of how they could work with the president.

Yet there has been little progress to develop a concrete proposal—especially how to pay for the funds that the federal government would provide.

“Trump and Republicans in Congress would like improved roads,” Norquist said. “The Democrats want Trump to endorse higher taxes so Democrats could, once again, spend on everything except roads.”

The White House is approaching Tuesday’s meeting as an opening round for discussions, and Trump won’t offer a total dollar amount for infrastructure spending, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified when speaking about plans that aren’t public.

©2019 Bloomberg News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.