There have been indications in the past that the Trump Administration is planning to start with another infrastructure stimulus package. Now Mike Pence, the incoming vice president, has said openly that one of the first items on the agenda of the Trump Administration will be a big infrastructure spending bill.
“I called [Trump] this afternoon to tell him I was coming by,” Pence told the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in The Hill. “In addition to urging me to send along greetings, he said, ‘Tell them we’re going to do an infrastructure bill — and it’s going to be big.’”
But maybe not “yuge.” The Hill notes that Trump proposed a plan that would give $137 billion in tax credits to private companies that form public-private partnerships to build transportation infrastructure projects. At other times, Trump proposed doubling Hillary Clinton’s proposed $275 billion infrastructure stimulus. In either case, Trump’s spending would fall short of President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package in 2009 that had negligible effects on the economy.
Trump may find that his stimulus is attacked from both sides. Democrats may argue that the smaller figure is not enough to properly address the country’s aging roads, bridges and airports while Republicans will be concerned about adding billions of dollars to the national debt.
Nevertheless, Trump’s infrastructure stimulus may present an opportunity for Trump to cobble together a bipartisan majority to pass the project. Democrats are proven supporters of debt-financed, infrastructure spending. While most Republicans normally resist the siren song of borrowing and spending on public works, many might be swayed if the bill is backed by Donald Trump. With conservative Trump supporters like Mike Huckabee and Mike Pence in favor of more infrastructure spending, many Republican congressmen may vote for the bill.