'That bill was so stupid': Trump reportedly admitted his administration's own infrastructure plan was a pathetic failure

'That bill was so stupid': Trump reportedly admitted his administration's own infrastructure plan was a pathetic failure
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

In a rare show of putative productivity, Democratic congressional leadership and President Donald Trump appear to be pushing forward with an effort to pass a bill overhauling American infrastructure after a White House meeting on the subject Tuesday.

According to multiple reports, Trump admitted that his administration's previous proposal for an infrastructure plan was a joke. That bill had been widely panned, in part for its fake price tag. It purported to be a $1.5 trillion bill. In fact, it only would have authorized $200 million of spending, and would only "incentivize" private investment to make up the difference. The plan never gained any traction.

"That bill was so stupid," Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at the White House Tuesday, according to an anonymously sourced report from The Hill. He blamed the bill on Gary Cohn, his former director of the National Economic Council.

Pelosi and Schumer held a press conference after the meeting, announcing that there had been significant progress negotiating with the president. They agreed to a goal of actually spending $2 trillion on an infrastructure bill.

The big problem with getting a real infrastructure bill passed, however, has never been Democrats. The Republican Party is deeply opposed to the government spending that such a bill would involve, and it has stood stalwartly opposed to any such idea.

But Trump suggested he might break with his party on this issue.

"I would like to do something," Trump reportedly said. "It may not be typically Republican."

As the Washington Post's Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman argued, though, the plan is almost certainly going nowhere. Given GOP resistance to the idea and the fact that Democrats and Trump will be unlikely to agree on financing for the plan or on the necessary environmental caveats, infrastructure is another of the president's doomed ideas. That's likely why Democrats are even agreeing to go along with the negotiations — they assume it will fail. It's hard to see why they would give Trump a bipartisan win and a major achievement heading into 2020. The best bet is that no substantial infrastructure bill will ever even make it to the Senate floor, let along the president's desk.


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