White House Tackles Infrastructure Funding for Next Stimulus Package

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A massive infrastructure investment could be a component of the next round of federal economic stimulus measures. After Congress cleared a nearly $500 billion small-business assistance bill, the White House intends to pursue funding for infrastructure projects in its fourth coronavirus relief package.

President Donald Trump is calling for a $2 trillion infrastructure package as part of the government’s emergency response to the pandemic. He has insisted the package would be funded through long-term borrowing at 0% interest, and his administration has signaled that proceeding with big-scale transportation projects would help provide long-term employment opportunities and facilitate an economic recovery across parts of the country.

“This is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. It should be very big and bold, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our country! Phase 4,” the president said in a tweet.

President Trump has long pushed for a proposal to revamp American roads, bridges and airports, and Democratic congressional leaders saw the issue as a key area where they could cooperate with the Republican president, but negotiations on an infrastructure package fell apart last year. There is no debate however about the poor condition of the country’s infrastructure — the American Society of Civil Engineers grades America’s roads, bridges, dams, electric grid, water systems and other vital assets at only a D+.

Responding to the COVID-19 crisis, President Trump has enacted into law three bills totaling more than $2 trillion that sought to assist medical systems, small businesses and low-income families during the pandemic. Financial aid also was provided to the airlines, transit systems and Amtrak.

After clearing the latest measure for the president’s signature, congressional leaders indicated they would turn their attention to efforts designed to restore normalcy.

Source: Transport Topics

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