President Trump pushed Congress to adopt “very big and bold” infrastructure investments in future legislation to combat the coronavirus.
On Tuesday, the president advocated for a $2 trillion addition to congressional economic relief bills designed to help workers and businesses during the pandemic, saying he hopes to increase employment through federal programs.
“With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. 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,” Trump tweeted.
With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. 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
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
March 31, 2020
Infrastructure was a heavily emphasized issue during Trump's campaign in 2016 and early presidency, mentioning it at every State of the Union address with the exception of 2020, but the effort has struggled to gain bipartisan traction in Congress.
“We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation,” Trump said during his 2017 inaugural address, promising to end the “American carnage.”
Trump told Congress during his State of the Union address last year that infrastructure investments were a “necessity” for the future.
“Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure,” Trump said during his speech. “I know that Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill, and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment.”
In 2018, the president said U.S. infrastructure was “crumbling.”
“America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just one year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?” Trump said that year, calling on Congress to produce a bill would invest at least $1.5 trillion in the area.
Last week, Congress approved and Trump signed a $2.2 trillion spending bill, the third relief package designed to alleviate economic concerns of small businesses, large corporations, and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allocates $500 billion in loans to large companies, $350 billion in forgivable loans, and provides $1,200 in direct cash payments to many U.S. citizens, among other items.
Before the historic relief package was passed last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers must begin drafting a fourth relief package to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the bill that was making its way through Congress was insufficient to address the needs of state and local governments, workers, and other entities affected by the spread of the virus.
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