Dozens of members briefed on Trump’s infrastructure plan

Dozens of members briefed on Trump’s infrastructure plan
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The Trump administration on Wednesday briefed dozens of lawmakers on President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure package, which appears to be quickly moving up as a legislative priority for the administration.

About 45 lawmakers heard from Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on the infrastructure plan, according to the head of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. 

“I spent an hour with Secretary Chao. She came and briefed about 45 members,” Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said during a committee hearing. “She talked about the infrastructure bill and how important it is to the president. Forty-five members were there asking lots of great questions."

The meeting only included House Republicans because it appears to have been apart of the House GOP conference's effort to introduce its members to Trump's Cabinet.

Shuster also indicated that the proposal is still taking shape and that details need to be worked out, such as how to raise revenue for direct federal funding and how to best leverage private-sector dollars.

The meeting comes one day after Chao said an infrastructure package could be unveiled as soon as May.

The proposal was previously not expected to be considered until the fall, after Congress tackled healthcare and tax reform.

But since the House failed to move forward on ObamaCare repeal last month, some have questioned whether the timeline for other priorities such as infrastructure may be sped up.

Trump could sidestep the conservative House Freedom Caucus – members of which largely opposed the healthcare bill he pushed – and reach across the aisle to make a deal on infrastructure.

However, Democrats expressed frustration that they were not included in Wednesday’s briefing.

“I would suggest that we invite [Chao] to meet with all members of this committee, so we can have a collaborative effort,” said Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.). “Maybe then they wouldn’t have the problems they had with the healthcare bill.”

-This story was updated at 1:15 p.m.