In this April 4, 2019 file photo, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are to meet with Trump at the White House on Tuesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on Monday sent a letter to President Trump calling for a “big and bold infrastructure package” ahead of a planned meeting at the White House Tuesday between Democratic lawmakers and the president.
“America’s unmet infrastructure needs are massive, and a bipartisan infrastructure package must meet those needs with substantial, new and real revenue,” Pelosi, the House speaker, and Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, wrote in their letter to Trump. “We look forward to hearing your ideas on how to pay for this package to ensure that it is big and bold enough to meet our country’s needs.”
The president – a real estate developer before he was elected president – has long sought to do a big infrastructure deal, though he has faced some resistance from conservatives in his party.
Still, leaders of both parties have expressed a desire to pass legislation this year to boost the nation's infrastructure. But big obstacles remain, including how to pay for it.
One of the president's economic advisers said the White House would not be going into Tuesday's meeting with a blueprint for an infrastructure bill.
"We're going slowly on this," said Larry Kudlow, director of the president's National Economic Council. "We would like this to be bipartisan. We would like to work with them and come up with something both sides can agree to. It's an important topic."
Pelosi and Schumer said an infrastructure package should go beyond addressing roads and bridges and should also include provisions to enhance broadband, water systems, energy, schools and housing.
“To truly be a gamechanger for the American people, we should go beyond transportation and into broadband, water, energy, schools, housing and other initiatives. We must also invest in resiliency and risk mitigation of our current infrastructure to deal with climate change,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote.
Fox News’ Blake Burman and Jason Donner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.