Republicans and Democrats discuss infrastructure plans

© Reuters. Schumer speaks to reporters after the Senate Democratic committee’s weekly luncheon at the United States Capitol in Washington.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans and Democrats argued over the best way to rebuild America’s infrastructure, one of President Donald Trump‘s top priorities, with no deal in sight after skirmishes between the two sides on Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a detailed new, trillion-dollar bill put forward by Democrats that would be heavily dependent on new government spending. That came shortly after Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said his party could not accept the tax credit mechanism that Trump proposed to push for the rebuilding of roads, bridges, sewers, airports and other public works.

Schumer vowed to oppose any Trump plan that relies on “developer tax credits” to stimulate rebuilding of America’s infrastructure.

Trump signed an executive action earlier Tuesday to speed up environmental approvals for high-priority infrastructure projects. That led Schumer to warn that Democrats would work to include environmental protections in any infrastructure measure that passes through the Republican-controlled Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was quick to criticize the Democrats’ proposal.

“I don’t think we should borrow almost $ 1 trillion and add a ton of federal accounts, incur a lot of additional debt and not build any projects to talk about,” McConnell said, comparing the plan to President Barack. Obama’s 2009 Economic Stimulus Act opposed by Republicans.

Democrats argue that an investment plan that relies on developer tax credits would not generate enough construction and lead to the creation of too many toll roads to fund long-term costs.

Instead, Senate Democrats are seeking large investments from the government, including $ 210 billion to rebuild roads and bridges, $ 110 billion for water and sewer projects, $ 180 billion for train and bus systems, and $ 75 billion to rebuild schools.

McConnell’s support would be essential for any infrastructure measure to be successful in Congress.

Trump campaigned throughout the past year promising to pursue a $ 1 trillion infrastructure program, which would come at a time when major public works projects are crumbling. The economy, however, also faces a shortage of skilled workers needed to build roads, bridges, airports, and other facilities.

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