Congress Could Strike Infrastructure Deal in Trump’s First 100 Days
Sen. Charles Schumer said Dec. 1 that he’s optimistic Congress will strike a deal with President elect Donald Trump to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill within the first 100 days of the new administration.
But the most powerful Democrat in Congress also made it clear Dec. 1 there’s a line he won’t cross when it comes to an infrastructure deal: Schumer said the bill cannot rely on what he called «gimmicks» or tax breaks.
Instead, Schumer said, any infrastructure bill must be paid for through substantial and direct federal funding.
Trump’s infrastructure plan released during his campaign called for a public private partnership in which companies would receive tax credits and other incentives to build projects that would be privately owned.
Schumer told Trump in a private meeting that such a plan would lead to investment only in the most profitable projects and could lead to significantly higher tolls on privately owned roads and bridges.
The senator said he told Trump «the bill needs to be stronger and bolder than ever before. Simple tax credits will not work.»
Schumer has already had discussions with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R Wis., about an infrastructure bill that would be tied to corporate tax reforms. corporations to repatriate overseas profits at a lower tax rate than the existing 35% rate. Treasury would be used for rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.
Schumer said the plan would bring hundreds of millions of dollars to New York state and local projects, such as the demolition of the Interstate 81 elevated highway through downtown Syracuse.
«It’s plain to see, New York’s infrastructure is falling apart,» Schumer said Dec. 1. «That’s why we need to pave the way for an infrastructure deal that revives our economy, ensures public safety and takes the local taxpayers off the hook for billions of dollars in past neglect.»
Schumer added, «The first 100 days of this new administration could provide us with a real shot at fixing New York’s aging sewers, roads and bridges. Though the devil is in the details, there is no harm in making it clear that New York is ready, willing and able to make these repairs, we just need the funding to get the job done.»
More than half of New York’s 17,000 bridges are age 75 or older, according to an American Society of Civil Engineers report. Schumer said the engineers found the poor road and bridge conditions costs a family with two cars in Syracuse an average of $900 per year in vehicle repair costs.