Trump pledges to work with Congress to pass infrastructure legislation

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-06 16:30:34|Editor: ZX
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday pledged to work with Congress to pass an infrastructure bill for renovating the country's aging roads, bridges, airports and others.

"Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America's crumbling infrastructure," Trump said as he delivered his annual State of the Union address, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from behind the podium.

"I know that the Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill -- and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future," the president said.

Emphasizing that infrastructure improvement is not an "option" but a "necessity," Trump stopped short of rolling out a specific plan about how much money is needed or how potential projects will be funded.

Following the midterm elections in November, Pelosi said the Democrats, in a House where they hold majority, are willing to reach across the aisle to the Republicans when it comes to infrastructure renewal.

The Congresswoman said ahead of the State of the Union that she hopes to hear a commitment from Trump on issues with bipartisan support, including rebuilding the infrastructure, according to U.S. media reports.

Trump proposed a 1.5-trillion-dollar infrastructure package in his last State of the Union address in Jan. 2018.

Later, on Feb. 12, 2018, the details of the plan was revealed, according to which the federal government will put up 200 billion dollars as incentives over the next 10 years, leaving state and local government as well as the private sector to make up for the rest.

That proposal ended nowhere in subsequent Congressional debates as lawmakers failed to bridge their differences.

"There's something where they could agree, but I think where they're going to get caught is how to pay for it," Republican Strategist Ford O'Connell said of bipartisan cooperation on infrastructure in a recent interview with Xinhua.

O'Connell added that he expects Trump to reject the Democrats' way of funding the future projects.