House Speaker Pelosi says infrastructure bill “within range”

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U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she thinks an infrastructure bill is “within range.”

“I’m optimistic because we must do it,” the Democratic leader said at a National Governors Association event. “I think there’s a real chance, the president wants it,” she said.

Several senior U.S. lawmakers have called for immediate action to upgrade the country’s crumbling infrastructure, but talks between the administration and Democratic leaders over a 2-trillion-U.S.-dollar plan fell apart in May last year.

At the event moderated by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, the House speaker said Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, will meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday when they may resume talks on an infrastructure bill.

Pelosi noted that the key issue is how to pay for it. “Infrastructure, it’s all about money,” she said. “The national debt is growing at such a rate that we’d have to pay as you go.”

The California Democrat again criticized the Trump administration’s tax cuts rolled out in late 2017, calling them a “tax scam” that added 2 trillion dollars to the national debt. “This is unsustainable,” she said.

When asked by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan whether is it possible to get something done on infrastructure in this election year, Pelosi said she thinks it is “really honestly within range.”

“There’s never going to be enough appropriate funds ever to meet the needs that we have, we have to be more entrepreneurial and creative in how we come up with it,” said Pelosi.

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