President Donald Trump stormed out of a meeting with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying that he would not work with them on an infrastructure package (or other bipartisan legislation including an effort to lower the prices of prescription drugs and the still pending U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement to replace NAFTA) until they halted their probes into his administration.
“Get these phony investigations over with,” Trump said he told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The President’s abrupt departure from the meeting scheduled to discuss how to pay for an infrastructure package was followed by a press event in the White House Rose Garden where, from a podium decorated with a sign repeating the President’s “no collusion, no obstruction” take on the results of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Trump complained that Speaker Pelosi had accused him of conducting a “cover-up.” In a tweet on Wednesday afternoon the President repeated his position that a two-track agenda is impossible and that as long as the Democrats pursue their investigations, they shouldn’t expect his administration to work with them on other issues.
The Democratic leadership had a somewhat different interpretation of the morning’s events. Minority Leader Schumer noted that the meeting was supposed to address how to pay for an infrastructure package that the President had been in favor of until discussions turned to paying for the plan. At that point Trump began to complain that the Democrats were trying to “set him up” with an infrastructure package that would require tax increases, including a big increase in the gasoline tax. Schumer said. “I think they can’t figure out a way to do infrastructure, and they came up with a very inelegant way to get out of it,” Schumer said.
The chances that the Democrats will call off their investigations of the President and his administration in return for promises to move ahead on legislation such as an infrastructure bill are nil. By stonewalling on every request for information, testimony, and documents from the House, the Trump administration has created a situation where the Democrats that now control the House of Representative can’t simply walk away from the confrontation.
Back on February 25 I added Vulcan Materials (VMC), a producer of construction aggregates, to my Jubak Picks Portfolio. I arguing then that Vulcan would do well even absent an infrastructure package from Washington and would do really well in Congress passed spending legislation. The stock is down 2.89% as of 3 p.m. today on the news from Washington but the shares are still up 14.86% since I added them to the portfolio.