Ahead of a meeting with President Donald Trump this week on infrastructure, the top two Democrats in Congress want to make sure that schools get consideration if the federal government takes action.
In a Monday letter to Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., name-checked school infrastructure in a list of areas where improvements to infrastructure are vital for the country’s future.
“To truly be a gamechanger for the American people, we should go beyond transportation and into broadband, water, energy, schools, housing and other initiatives,” Pelosi and Schumer told Trump.
The Washington Post reported that among the Democrats slated to meet with Trump about infrastructure is Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who is the top Democrat on the Senate education committee. She might be as good as, or better than, any other lawmaker in the meeting to make the case for any big infrastructure spending bill to include schools. Trump himself talked up the idea of spending money to fix up schools when he ran for president, but when his administration has floated general ideas for infrastructure, schools haven’t made the list.
House Democrats have introduced legislation that would authorize federal aid for school repair, construction, and modernization. Earlier this year, the House education committee backed legislation to provide $100 billion for K-12 infrastructure, including $70 billion in direct federal spending. But even if the full House passes the bill, it could quickly flounder in the Republican-controlled Senate.
The full Pelosi-Schumer letter is below:
Photo: President Donald Trump speaks to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., second from right, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at right, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in 2017. (Evan Vucci/AP)