- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 24, 2017

The White House’s legislative affairs director said Sunday that President Trump wants to unveil an infrastructure package in January and reach for a deal with Democrats, a pivot toward bipartisanship after GOP-only efforts on health care and taxes produced mixed results in 2017.

The push is getting off on a rocky foot, however, as Democrats say Republicans blew the $1 trillion needed to rebuild America’s crumbling roads, bridges and rail on their tax-cut bill, while the administration eyes mixing federal investments with contributions from local governments and the private sector.

Marc Short, the legislative affairs director, said Mr. Trump can get it done, but only if Democrats work with GOP lawmakers who control both sides of Congress.

“There’s no doubt there is a pathway forward on this,” Mr. Short told “Fox News Sunday.” “The big question is, will Democrats put politics aside and work with us?”

Mr. Short said Mr. Trump has been clear about what it will take to resolve another key issue in 2018 — how to protect immigrant “Dreamers” who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The president says beefed-up border security and interior enforcement of immigration laws must be part of any deal.

Mr. Short said an actual border wall isn’t a “non-negotiable,” per se, but argued it is something the U.S. needs and “something the president promised.”

Sen. Ben Cardin said bipartisan conversations on the Dreamers are underway, but that a resulting deal shouldn’t revolve around a massive physical barrier along the southern U.S. border.

“Let’s make it sensible border security … the wall is not going to make us safer,” Mr. Cardin, Maryland Democrat, told Fox.


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