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Pence: Infra bill ‘going to be big’

Decrying the state of the nation’s roads and bridges, the VP-elect this week told US mayors a major infrastructure programme will be a high priority for Trump.

A large infrastructure package will be among the priorities of the incoming administration, Vice President-elect Mike Pence told a group of US mayors on Tuesday.

Relaying a message from his boss, President-elect Donald Trump, Pence told the meeting of the US Conference of Mayors that “we’re going to do an infrastructure bill, and it’s going to be big”.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to mobilise as much as $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, a vow that has worried some fiscal conservatives. A plan released by Trump advisors Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, which called for tax credits to incentivise private sector investment instead of direct spending, helped comfort some of the Republican party’s deficit hawks.

At Tuesday’s conference, Pence lamented “the dilapidated state of many of our roads and our bridges”. Commenting on the administration’s infrastructure package, Pence said it would have “the funding to help communities and states all across America meet the needs that face too many communities and often times stifle growth”.

Pence’s remarks may provide some reassurance that an infrastructure package, which House Speaker Paul Ryan said will be on the agenda during Trump’s first 200 days in office, has not been forgotten. As far as details are concerned, however, the Trump team has yet to expand on Ross and Navarro’s broad proposals.