Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said he approved of President-elect Donald Trump's possible trillion dollar infrastructure bill as long as it meets certain Democratic criteria in an interview released Tuesday.
The senator from New York told ABC News' Jon Karl and Rick Klein during their podcast "Powerhouse Politics" that he has spoken to Trump four or five times on his cellphone since the election and described their discussions as informal but substantive.
Recent Stories in Politics
Regarding Trump's proposed large-scale infrastructure deal, Schumer said, "We think it should be large. He's mentioned a trillion dollars, I told him that sounded good to me."
Schumer noted that if Trump expects Democratic support for the infrastructure deal it should not be funded just through tax breaks. He told Karl and Klein that Trump acknowledged he may face resistance on a trillion dollar spending bill from congressional Republicans but planned on pushing the spending bill anyway.
Senate Democrats would also like to see a select committee formed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Schumer said later in the interview. He said that if a bipartisan Senate committee is formed it "should not be political." The U.S. intelligence community has said that Russia was behind a series of cyber attacks into American political networks during the campaign, and some agencies–including the CIA–believe the Russian effort was meant to help elect Trump to the White House.
The Senate minority leader also suggested that Democrats would extensively question some of Trump's potential Cabinet nominees, specifically naming Rep. Tom Price (R., Ga.), who the president-elect nominated to be secretary of Health and Human Services. Price's opinions on reforming Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare are not the ideas that Trump campaigned on, Schumer suggested.
Trade also appears to be another issue where Senate Democrats and Trump may be able to work together. Schumer said that his views on trade, and those of many Democrats, are actually closer to Trump's than President Obama's, but he added that his solutions to fixing trade issues differ from what the president-elect has floated.
"We're not going to oppose something simply because it has the name Trump on it, but we will certainly not sacrifice our principles just to get something done," Schumer said of how Senate Democrats will approach the new Trump administration.