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Pence promises ‘big’ infrastructure bill as he address gathering of mayors

Vice President-elect Mike Pence spoke before a gathering of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington. (Video: Reuters)

Vice President-elect Mike Pence pledged Tuesday that the incoming administration would work with Republican and Democratic mayors alike on priorities facing America’s cities, including passage of a “big” infrastructure bill.

Appearing before a gathering of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, Pence relayed that he had told President-elect Donald Trump that he would be dropping by and that Trump offered this instruction: “Tell 'em we’re going to do an infrastructure bill, and it’s going to be big.”

Trump has pledged to mobilize anywhere from half a trillion to a trillion dollars to upgrading the nation’s aging roads, bridges and transportation hubs. But rather than relying entirely on direct federal spending, the Trump plan could utilize an investment tax credit to spur private spending. Pence provided no details Tuesday.

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Pence offered praise for the work done by municipal officials, and he said Trump understands the challenges facing cities and the promise of urban renewal.

“Remember, after all, he’s a New Yorker, through and through,” Pence said.

Pence said the new administration, which takes office Friday, would work with Democrats and Republicans “on equal footing” and would be guided by “no politics, just results.”

“This administration is going to be a friend to America’s mayors,” he said.

Besides infrastructure, Pence said he and Trump are eager to work with mayors on job creation, public safety and education, and he promised to provide more options “to our students from failing schools.”