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infrastructure

Trump's big $1 trillion infrastructure initiative is going nowhere fast

President Trump continues to push for a big infrastructure bill, on Twitter and in interviews, but his administration is divided over how Trump's $1 trillion proposal should be structured. At the same time, Republicans have put the plan on the back burner after a series of other difficult and high-stakes legislative priorities, and Democrats, who also support infrastructure projects, are increasingly unwilling to work with the Trump administration after months of mutual animus, Glenn Thrush reports at The New York Times, citing "two dozen administration officials, legislators, and labor leaders involved in coming up with a concrete proposal."

In April, Trump said his administration had the $1 trillion infrastructure plan "largely completed and we'll be filing over the next two or three weeks — maybe sooner." By late July, Trump hasn't named anybody to the infrastructure board he said would have the authority to approve big projects — and the panel will be advisory and not actually have green-light powers, an administration official tells Thrush — or set out a general outline for what he wants.

Some White House officials, like Trump and his National Economic Council chief Gary Cohn, are open to putting more than $200 billion into the proposed public-private partnerships and combining the plan with another must-pass bill; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin opposes combining the infrastructure and tax-cut legislation; White House budget director Mick Mulvaney reportedly opposes adding new federal money to the plan. Congressional Republicans, still struggling over health-care legislation, are waiting for a White House plan. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is skeptical "of any deal that would require him to compromise with Democrats," Thrush reports, and "has suggested a more modest Republicans-only package."

"Right now, it doesn't appear that they have a plan," said AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. "The president doesn't know what his own party wants, and he's not sure what he wants." White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom said the White House will release its proposal in late summer or early fall, arguing that was always the timetable. You can read more about Trump's stalled effort at The New York Times.