WASHINGTON – A major influx of direct spending will be needed for President-elect Donald Trump's proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday in his inaugural speech.
"A program of tax credits isn't going to get the job done, no matter how large," the Democrat from New York said. "We need significant, direct spending. How does the President-elect plan to get that done?"
Trump's 10-year infrastructure plan would use $137 billion of tax credits to generate $1 trillion of private investments. His policy advisors have said the tax credit equal to 82% of the equity amount will lower project costs by 18-20%.
Schumer said Trump has proposed "a great many things" about rebuilding the infrastructure, which includes thousands of bridges, tunnels, schools, wastewater systems and airports in need of repair. He asked the President-elect for more detail on how this rebuilding process will be financed.
Schumer also warned Trump against repealing the Affordable Care Act, a signature law of President Obama. Trump has proposed repealing Obamacare, although Schumer cited Trump's support for several provisions of the law that he said he would hold the Republican "accountable" for.
"It's not acceptable to repeal the law, throw our health care system into chaos, and then leave the hard work for another day," Schumer said. "What is your plan to make sure all Americans can get affordable health care?"
A full repeal of ACA could cost hospitals roughly $399.77 billion of revenue over the next decade, the Federation of American Hospitals and the American Hospital Association said last month. That would impose downward pressure on the ratings of the hospital and health care sector, which has issued in excess of $150 million of bonds from 2010 through 2015, which could trickle down to state and local governments.
A repeal would also would increase the number of uninsured individuals and lead to losses in federal Medicaid funding for states, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and other groups, also hurting the states.
Schumer also said that the new set of lawmakers will be an "accountability Congress" that will work with Trump on issues like infrastructure, trade, and closing the carried interest loophole, but will resist any actions by the President-elect that would hurt Americans.
"We Democrats will hold you accountable," he said. Schumer did not directly address tax reform proposals in his speech.