Is This Really the Right Time for a Massive Infrastructure Bill?
Both the president and Democrats eye infrastructure spending as part of COVID-19 relief.
In a clear effort to strike while the China Virus crisis iron is still hot, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed for a fourth stimulus package on Wednesday, this one ostensibly aimed at shoring up the nation’s aging infrastructure. “We need to invest in our infrastructure to address some of the critical impacts and vulnerabilities in America that have been laid bare by the coronavirus,” Pelosi asserted. Aside from infrastructure, part of Pelosi’s stimulus is reintroducing state and local tax deductions, or, to put it simply, a tax break for the wealthy in tax-heavy blue states.
But Pelosi is not the only one calling for infrastructure legislation. President Donald Trump has been calling for one for a while, and he again took up the call on Tuesday. “With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time for our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill,” he declared. “It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4.”
Democrats are clearly on board with passing more legislation as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer commented: “So I think the odds are high there will be a COVID-4.” However, Republicans sounded a more cautious tone, wanting to pump the brakes on this spending train. “I think we’ll have to wait and see,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated regarding a fourth bill. “Remember, this [third] bill was only signed into law last Friday. So it’s only been law for about four days. And the speaker is already talking about another bill.”
Furthermore, we don’t know exactly when the country will be able to get back to work anyway, so why rush through more costly legislation? This is legislation that really couldn’t go into serious effect until the rolling shutdowns are lifted. Congress has plenty of time to hammer out such a massive infrastructure package with more care.