An infrastructure plan Democrats can love?

Source: By ERIC LIPTON,  New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 19, 2016

The president-elect’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, told New York business leaders on Friday that Mr. Trump’s vision for a large-scale federal infrastructure program was “closer” to Senator Chuck Schumer’s, the incoming minority leader, than to the majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell’s.

Mr. Kushner made the remarks at an event hosted by the Partnership for New York City, just after an appearance by Mr. Schumer, the New York senator.

This week at a news conference in Washington, Mr. McConnell said he was not interested in “trillion-dollar stimulus” to finance any infrastructure plan, setting up what could be the first of many clashes with a Trump White House that will not always hew to Republican orthodoxy.

The Trump campaign floated a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that would depend on private investors raising money and building the projects with the aid of some form of tax credit. Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, said shortly after the election that a huge infrastructure plan would be in the offing, but the form was not clear. Democrats have long said they want an infrastructure plan that has plentiful direct federal funding, something Mr. Schumer has said repeatedly, not tax credits for rich developers.

This does not excite Mr. McConnell who, like most Republicans, recalls President Obama’s early stimulus plan unfavorably. That plan came in the middle of the worst recession since the Depression.

Mr. Trump inherits an economy that is healthy enough that the Federal Reserve raised interest rates Wednesday to head off overheating. The Fed has made it clear that if Mr. Trump insists on pumping money into the economy, it will hasten rate increases to stave off inflation.

“We need to do this carefully and correctly, and the issue of how to pay for it needs to be dealt with responsibly,” Mr. McConnell, the Kentucky senator, said this week.