In the kind of bipartisan display we rarely see much of in Washington these days, President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi agreed this week to put together a $2 trillion infrastructure package, with the details to be hammered out in the coming months. The devil may be in those very details, of course, and it wouldn’t surprise us if Democrats try to use this bill as a way to get rid of the GOP’s tax cuts, obtain amnesty for Dreamers, or any number of other liberal agenda items, but for now, there seems to be some measure of peace between rivals.
In remarks to reporters after meeting with President Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said there was “good will in the meeting,” which isn’t something you often hear from Democrats when they’ve finished talking to Trump. Schumer said that both Democrats and Trump agreed that investing in the nation’s infrastructure would be an excellent way to create jobs and move the U.S. into a better economic position relative to its global competitors.
“We agreed on a number,” Schumer said. “Originally, we had started a little lower. Even the president was eager to push it up to $2 trillion, and that is a very good thing.”
Pelosi concurred. “We did come to one agreement,” she said. “That the agreement would be big and bold.”
Republicans are sure to blanch at any bill that plays out as a needless growth of government, and Democrats are probably already irritated that their congressional leaders are even talking to Trump, much less working on legislation with him. But until the real fight starts, it’s interesting and even a little refreshing to see the two sides come together. If you didn’t know the modern history of the Democratic Party, you might even have cause to hope for true bipartisanship. Surely that’s possible when it comes to a neutral issue like infrastructure, right?
Well, we can’t say we’re optimistic. Democrats are on a mission to take this president down, and you don’t accomplish that by standing side by side with him on a bill this enormous. You can’t be talking about investigations and impeachment on Monday and bipartisan legislation on Tuesday. There’s not a doubt in our minds that the Democrats will reject anything the White House supports. And then they can go campaign next year, telling low-information voters all about how they tried – they TRIED, damn it – to work with President Trump, but it just can’t be done. He’s mad, they’ll say. He’s flat-out crazy!
But we’ll see. There are a lot of interested parties both within and outside of politics who want to see this infrastructure package go through. If both sides are willing to bend a little, a miracle could happen. Let’s just hope Trump isn’t the one breaking his back to make the deal.