Editor’s Note — This story was originally published on April 26, 2019. It has been updated with additional remarks from the President of the Flight Attendants’ Association of America, Lauren Greco.
Editor’s Note — This story was originally published on April 26, 2019. It has been updated with additional remarks from the White House Press Secretary.
President Donald Trump has delivered a harsh rebuke to Congress after the Senate adjourned without passing his infrastructure bill.
‘We’re not going to allow this to happen’
Trump warned that if Congress doesn’t send him legislation he will refuse to sign another bill.
“We’re not going to allow this to happen, I will tell you that,” Trump said. “You’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars on infrastructure…I feel like we have infrastructure. People say ‘oh, we don’t have roads.’ We have roads.”
Trump, who said he had to sign 27 other bills, said he would have come home and “be been disappointed in myself” had he signed another bill.
“If we don’t get what we need and if we don’t get it immediately, we’re not going to get it,” Trump said.
‘This is the dog that hasn’t barked’
This is the first time Trump has threatened to reject another bill for not doing what he says he wants.
The President’s speaking in the context of infrastructure. Trump is a big proponent of fixing the nation’s roads and bridges, even proposing a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package last year.
On Monday, Senate leaders announced they had yet to reach agreement on that package, effectively casting it as a top priority for lawmakers now.
“Pass this bill. Pass this bill now,” Trump said. “Do it. Finish it this year and get it done.”
The president has previously rejected just one bill in the last year that did not contain billions of dollars in emergency funds to make military construction projects more responsive to climate change. And he still worked with Democrats to get his tax overhaul passed.
More recessed than not
Trump has kept up a frequent schedule of travel this week, welcoming home National Guard troops from Afghanistan on Wednesday, two Medal of Honor recipients on Thursday and his wife Melania on Friday.
His travels have caused delays for transportation systems across the country.
Trump has said he will begin his legislative push in the early days of the second-term.
An administration official said the White House planned to “hold a bunch of off-camera meetings” in the coming weeks to talk about the possibility of an infrastructure bill and other issues.
That official said the administration wants to do more to make conversations more “democratic” so it can get more consensus around issues.
“We are watching TV, but we are engaging at places that are less aggressive than some others,” the official said.