After President Trump’s healthcare bill failed to pass last week, he and his administration have turned their focus to the $1 trillion infrastructure plan.
Capitol Hill lawmakers were expected to address the rebuilding package in fall 2017. However, the death of the American Health Care Act has opened up the legislative template to tackling infrastructure issues earlier than anticipated.
“This just leapfrogged,” said Republican Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, a former Trump transition member. “This is something the president has wanted to do. But, with healthcare pushed to the back burner, I believe that it’s infrastructure that gains steam.”
“It moves everything up if you take [health care] out,” said Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who is also a chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee’s subcommittee on transportation and infrastructure.
Trump has vowed to deliver a massive infrastructure proposal to Congress within his first 100 days in office. This includes the upgrading and enhancing of roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructures within the United States.
However, some are skeptical that Trump will be able to properly introduce and pass a form of comprehensive infrastructure legislation, considering the healthcare mishap from last week.
“I think this defeat on health care … will make [Trump] reconsider whether he should be following the House or the congressional playbook,” Democratic Rep. John Delaney of Maryland told The Hill. “They were following the House lead before. After this, I could see them saying they’re going to set their own agenda.”
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