Meeting on federal infrastructure bill ends in acrimony

President, Democrats exchange barbs after brief meeting
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WASHINGTON — Talks between President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders on an infrastructure bill broke down on Wednesday, with each side blaming the other: The president he can’t work with Democrats while they investigate his administration, and Democrats responded the president was never serious about an infrastructure program.

Trump had met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer in late April and agreed about the need for a program to address roads and other transportation issues. [See “Trump, Democrats agree: $2 trillion needed for infrastructure,” Trains News Wire, April 30, 2019.] But a followup meeting on Wednesday ended quickly, with NPR reporting that the president said he would only discuss infrastructure once their investigations are over, and breaking off the meeting before Democrats had a chance to speak.

Trump, in an appearance in the Rose Garden after Wednesday's meeting, said he wanted to address the need for infrastructure work, but “we can’t do it under these circumstances. Get these phony investigations over with.”

Schumer noted that investigations were under way at the time of the first meeting, saying during an appearance on Capitol Hill, “Now that he was forced to say how he would pay for [the infrastructure program], he had to run away, and he came up with this pre-planned response.”

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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