US could have been rebuilt three times with leader who knew how to 'negotiate,' Trump says

Trump: Time for a great infrastructure rebuilding

President Donald Trump joked Tuesday that a president who could "negotiate" could have already rebuilt the United States' creaky infrastructure — three times.

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, Trump said he wants Congress to approve $1 trillion in infrastructure investment, "financed through both public and private capital." He claimed that injection would create "millions of new jobs."

Still, Trump offered little in specifics beyond what he has previously said about infrastructure.

"America has spent approximately $6 trillion in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. With this $6 trillion we could have rebuilt our country — twice. And maybe even three times if we had people who had the ability to negotiate," Trump said in an apparent reference to previous administrations.

Bipartisan members of Congress have largely agreed that the U.S. needs a significant infrastructure fix, but Trump's proposal faces a tough political future. He made the $1 trillion infrastructure plan a priority during his campaign, but it has largely taken the backseat to Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass tax reform.

Senate Democrats unveiled their own $1 trillion infrastructure plan last month, and after Trump's speech, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the president hypocritical for talking so much about his own plan. Schumer said "we haven't heard a peep" from Trump about the Democrats' plan.

Congress has a packed legislative schedule with health care and tax efforts as well as a Supreme Court justice confirmation process. Many Republicans would also be reluctant to approve that infrastructure funding.