Trump and Democrats Agree to Pursue $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

The original plan was also one that everyone rejected from the beginning — Mr. Trump even criticized public-private partnerships, which were key to the plan’s financing — and there has not been a new plan put forward since.

But Democrats went to the White House for a meeting, intent to play along as if there was a chance.

Ms. Pelosi requested the White House meeting in April, in part to change the conversation from impeachment to infrastructure and to demonstrate that Democrats want to proceed with a policy agenda, and not merely with oversight investigations of the president.

Democrats arrived on Tuesday with a dozen members of Congress. Mr. Trump was accompanied in the meeting by Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary, as well as seven White House aides, including his daughter Ivanka Trump, who is also a presidential adviser; Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council; and Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel.

The meeting took place behind closed doors. But the tactic of trying to stage-manage Oval Office meetings with Mr. Trump struck some as out of step.

“We’re in the middle of a constitutional crisis here,” said Brian Fallon, a former aide to Mr. Schumer. “The most important job the Democrats have right now is to uphold the rule of law against a president who thinks the law doesn’t apply to him. We have bigger fish to fry than trying to look like we gave it a shot on infrastructure. This was the play in 2016. It strikes me as a very pre-Trump approach for how to manage.”

Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, expressed deep skepticism about the possibility of an infrastructure deal with Democrats. He said the two parties had major differences on the scope and timing of a plan, and he questioned the intentions of Democrats.

Mr. Mulvaney said he had advised the president that Republicans must push for environmental deregulation so that new projects could get built within two years. He suggested that under current regulations, a trillion dollars’ worth of spending might not lead to new roads or bridges being built for 10 years.

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