President Donald Trump said his much-hyped infrastructure plan will likely have to wait until after this year’s midterm elections.
Ironically, Trump made the remark at an event that was intended to push his infrastructure plan, which would include $200 billion in federal funding meant to encourage $1.5 trillion in overall investment from states, municipalities and private entities.
Trump’s take lined up with what the White House has been saying. A senior administration official, who declined to be named, told reporters that “what we can’t get this year” on infrastructure “we’ll do next year.” The president, the official said, is in it “for the long haul.”
Trump made repairing America’s aging infrastructure a key part of his populist pitch to voters during the campaign. He has also reportedly expressed his displeasure with the idea of public-private partnerships, which make up a key part of his infrastructure proposal.
Some critics say Trump’s plan would come up dramatically short of its goals. An analysis from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Trump’s alma mater, said the plan would fall more than $1 trillion short of the investment it would need.
On Thursday, Trump blamed Democrats for not getting his infrastructure plan off the ground. He said that Democrats are saying, “Don’t give him anymore wins” before the midterm elections. Trump’s Republican Party controls both the House and the Senate.
Democrats are widely considered to have an edge over Republicans in the contest for majority rule in the House of Representatives, with polls showing the Democratic Party ahead on so-called generic ballots. The GOP, however, is expected to hang on to the Senate as several Democrats from states Trump won are up for re-election.
CNBC’s Mary Catherine Wellons contributed to this report.