Congress

Trump Throws Tantrum, Makes Unrelated Demands for Infrastructure

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Congressional Democrats and the White House have both thrown their rhetorical support behind spending $2 trillion on infrastructure over the next decade, but Democrats are the only ones who are serious about it.

Trump walked out of a meeting with Democratic leadership this afternoon where they were suppose to talk about infrastructure, but even before his latest temper tantrum Trump made erroneous demands that are unrelated to infrastructure.

The White House addressed a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanding that Congress ratify his fake replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) before passing an infrastructure bill.

"Before we get to infrastructure, it is my strong view that Congress should first pass the important and popular USMCA trade deal," Trump wrote. [...]

"Once Congress has passed USMCA, we should turn our attention to a bipartisan infrastructure package," Trump wrote.

Spokesmen for Schumer and Pelosi did not immediately comment on Trump's letter.

In addition to demanding that Congress ratify his fake trade agreement, Trump also demanded that Democrats drop all investigations of him during a brief appearance in the Rose Garden this afternoon.

I would tell you that passing a substantive infrastructure bill while Republicans still control the Senate is virtually impossible so you might say that Trump is beating a dead horse. It wasn't going to happen even before Trump made it official that it's not going to happen.

The so-called United States-Mexico-Canada (USMC) trade agreement is nearly identical to NAFTA; similar enough that congressional Republicans have rhetorically supported its passage by saying that "95 percent" of the agreement is the same.

Foreign trade and the price of importing materials is obviously related to infrastructure, but it's not as if the USMCA would make a significant difference in a theoretical infrastructure spending bill that Republicans will never support in any case.

If Congress is ever going to commit to revitalizing the nation's infrastructure, the earliest we could possibly see that happen is in 2021 and that's only if Trump is evicted from the White House and Republicans lose control of the Senate. Infrastructure spending will be dead on arrival until then.

  • Aynwrong

    I don’t understand why Democrats even bother. Do they honestly believe that they’ll get some measure of credit for being able to say “Look, we tried…” And from who?

    • Christopher Foxx

      You’d think that after three decades of failure with that approach they’d give up. But having found one thing they’ve stuck to, they’re loathe to give it up.

  • muselet

    It’s funnier than that:

    [W]e have three different excuses for ditching the infrastructure plan: Democrats are mean; Democrats need to figure out how to pay for it; and Democrats need to pass the trade deal first. Needless to say, all of these are made up from whole cloth. The real reason is that Republicans have no interest in paying for Trump’s plan, but he didn’t bother checking with them first before he proposed it.

    Behold the Dealmaker-in-Chief.

    –alopecia