WASHINGTON — In a rare moment of bipartisanship in polarized Washington, President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders agreed Tuesday to work toward a $2 trillion infrastructure plan to rebuild roads, bridges, provide clean water and extend broadband coverage — but they put off the thorny matter of how to pay for it.Both sides seemed determined to show a willingness to work with the other, even as tensions between the White House and congressional Democrats have only intensified with the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report into Russia meddling in the 2016 elections. Democrats have multiple investigations of the Trump administration underway and Trump’s White House is strongly resisting them.But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said there was “good will in the meeting” — a marked departure from the last White House encounter between Trump, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which ended with Trump walking out in a huff. At Tuesday’s more muted meeting, by contrast, Trump at one point offered to share his Tic Tacs with Pelosi and she accepted, a Democratic aide recounted.“We did come to one agreement: that the agreement would be big and bold,” Pelosi said.Schumer added that: “In previous meetings, the president has said, ‘If these investigations continue, I can’t work with you.’” But this time, Schumer said, “He didn’t bring it up.”Schumer said the two sides agreed that infrastructure investments create jobs and make the United States more competitive economically with the rest of the world. Most importantly, Schumer said, “we agreed on a number.”“Originally, we had started a little lower. Even the president was eager to push it up to $2 trillion, and that is a very good thing,” Schumer said.White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, for her part, described the meeting as “excellent and productive.”Pelosi and congressional Democrats had asked for the meeting with Trump to discuss launching an ambitious building program that’s a top priority for the party and has been a rare area of potential bipartisan accord with Republicans. Trump, too, has long promised a big infrastructure plan.When Democratic lawmakers emerged, they said Trump agreed that infrastructure investments should go beyond roads and bridges and water systems to also include broadband.Democrats also put the onus on Trump to come up with a plan for how to pay for the package, and said they would meet again in three weeks, when the president will present his ideas. They noted that a bill is unlikely to pass the Senate “if we don’t have him on board.”Trump, at one point, said he liked the number $2 trillion because it sounded better than $1.9 billion, according to a Democrat who spoke about the meeting on condition of anonymity because the aide was not authorized to discuss details of the private session publicly.The meeting tenor was decidedly more low-key than the last Trump session with the Democratic leaders. During one exchange, when Pelosi tried to get the president’s attention as he and Schumer were having a side conversation, the speaker prodded, “If I may have your attention … Mr. President … Chuck … Kids …” That was according to the Democrat who described the meeting on condition of anonymity.The nation’s top business groups and labour unions support increasing the federal gasoline tax, currently 18.3 cents a gallon. It was last raised in 1993.Schumer said the president didn’t rule out tax increases to pay for infrastructure. Sanders’ statement did not address the tax issue. Instead, it described the U.S., without elaborating, as “foolishly prioritizing the interests of other countries over our own.”“We have to invest in this country’s future and bring our infrastructure to a level better than it has ever been before,” Sanders added.The meeting included a dozen congressional Democrats and numerous administration officials.Before the meeting, senior aides seemed intent on setting low expectations. Asked whether Trump supports raising the gas tax, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said “this president is the guy who lowers taxes.”And Mick Mulvaney, the president’s acting chief of staff, said he hoped the conversations with Democrats would go well, “but if they don’t it would not surprise me.”More than one “infrastructure week” already has come and gone over the past two years with nothing to show for it. Still, advocates for an infrastructure package boost see a narrow window for action.“I think a deal can be had if everybody is willing to put their battle axes away for a period,” said former Republican Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, who served as chairman of the House’s transportation committee for six years.Mulvaney indicated that won’t be easy.“To have an impeachment hearing on Monday, say, and then to think you’re going to talk infrastructure on Tuesday, that’s not how the world works, let alone Washington, D.C.,” Mulvaney said at a conference he was attending in California.Democrats insisted that they will proceed with their “oversight responsibilities” at the same they’re pushing for an infrastructure deal. “The two are not mutually exclusive, and we were glad he didn’t make it that way,” Schumer said.A compromise could offer political benefits to both sides. Trump’s re-election prospects are tied to a strong economy that would get another boost from new road and bridge projects. House Democrats have passed an array of bills that have gone nowhere in the GOP-controlled Senate.Committees in both chambers of Congress have started to lay the groundwork for an infrastructure bill through hearings, with Democratic lawmakers hoping to have legislation ready for consideration by June or July.___AP Writers Darlene Superville and Matthew Daly contributed to this report.Kevin Freking And Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
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The Cabinet has moved swiftly to approve key economic stimulus decisions aimed at boosting economic growth, poverty-reduction, and job-creation, an Executive Mansion release said.According to the release, the Cabinet further mandated the Special City Beautification Task Force headed by Madam Mary T. Broh, Director and General Services Agency (GSA) to carry out the exercise in a coordinated, systematic and adequate notice-sharing manner.“The Cabinet scrupulously examined and approved the concepts and blueprints for the implementation of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Task Force; Manufacturing and Business Support Task Force; Special City Beautification Task Force; and the Netherlands International Development Forum for Ebola countries.Meanwhile, the respective Task Forces are to proceed accordingly, to realistically accomplish the relevant deliverables in the supreme national interest, the release stated. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
HEAVILY FAVORED RAYMUNDOS SECRET GOES GATE TO WIRE IN TAKING $51,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE BY 2 ¾ LENGTHS UNDER FRANCO
HEAVILY FAVORED RAYMUNDOS SECRET GOES GATE TO WIRE IN TAKING $51,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE BY 2 ¾ LENGTHS UNDER FRANCO; TRAINED BY BALTAS, FLORIDA-BRED GETS MILE ON TURF IN 1:34.19 ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 4, 2019)–Off at 2-5 and firmly in command throughout, Raymundos Secret registered an impressive 2 ¾ length front-running victory in Friday’s $51,000 Santa Anita allowance feature. Ridden by Geovanni Franco and trained by Richard Baltas, she got a flat mile on turf in 1:34.19.“It’s nice to be two to five!” said Franco, who picked the mount up earlier today when Flavien Prat took off three mounts on the eight-race program. “She was very handy, very willing. Turning for home, she took care of business.”Eighth, beaten 4 ½ lengths in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 17, Raymundos Secret, a Florida-bred daughter of Treasure Beach, was heavily favored in a field of seven sophomore fillies and paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10.Owned by Sierra Racing and Sterling Stables, LLC, she picked up her third win from four starts and with the winner’s check of $30,600, increased her earnings to $61,571.“She broke her maiden back in January at Tampa Bay Downs for $32,000 (maiden claiming), and we bought her then,” said Baltas. “When we got her later that month, we just decided to give her some time, so she got about 60 days and then we brought her in and got her ready for Del Mar.“Because she broke her maiden for the tag, she was eligible for the starter race ($50,000, July 24) at Del Mar on July 24, which she won pretty easy (by five lengths). We took a shot in the Del Mar Oaks and then we just regrouped and ran her here today. The way she ran, we’ll probably point to the Autumn Miss (Grade III, one mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies on Oct. 26).”Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Vibrance rallied well through the lane to be second. Off at 11-1, she paid $6.80 and $4.20.Courteous, attentive to the early pace with Joe Talamo up, proved third best and paid $4.40 to show while off at 11-1.Fractions on the race were 23.89, 46.77, 1:10.06 and 1:22.07.She’s Our Charm, who was assigned post position seven, broke through the gate twice prior to the start and was subsequently scratched by the stewards. At the time of the declaration, she was 25-1.