- The Washington Times - Friday, December 22, 2017

President Trump said Friday that his months of work with Congress on tax cuts brought him closer to lawmakers he often criticized, a lesson that he believes will make it easier to pass an infrastructure spending bill next year.

“You know one thing I really learned?” Mr. Trump told reporters. “I got to know and became very friendly with the people in the House, the people in the Senate, both Republicans and Democrats. When I came [to Washington], I didn’t know too many.”

He added, “Many of these people are great people that truly love this country. I know every one of them very well and I understand the legislation very well. It’s been a process, a pretty great process actually. I think that helps and I think you’ll see that.”

As he signed the $1.5 trillion tax-cut measure into law, Mr. Trump said he wants to turn next to an infrastructure bill when Congress returns in January from a holiday recess.

“It’s time for us to rebuild our country,” he said. “Infrastructure is by far the easiest, people want it, Republicans and Democrats. We’re going to have tremendous Democrat support on infrastructure. I actually wanted to save the easy one for the one down the road. So we’ll be having that done pretty quickly.”

He praised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican who has often been the target of Mr. Trump’s barbs, as well as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah and others.

The president departed Washington late Friday morning for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he will spend the holidays with his family.

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