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Mar 31, 2020 6:00 PM ET

Trump calls for new $ 2 trillion infrastructure bill

iCrowd Newswire - Mar 31, 2020

WASHINGTON – President Trump said Tuesday that a significant investment in infrastructure should be part of a fourth Coronavirus aid package in Congress, citing the possibility of low interest rates.

“With US interest rates at zero, this is the time to create our infrastructure law, which has been awaited for decades,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “It should be VERY BIG and brave, $ 2 trillion, and focus solely on jobs and rebuilding our country’s once-huge infrastructure!”

Regarding a possible fourth round of legislation in response to the coronavirus outbreak that killed more than 3,000 people in the United States, Mr. Trump tweeted “Phase 4”.

The split Congress has already passed three key laws to fight the pandemic: an economic stimulus package of approximately $ 2 trillion that includes household checks, bailouts for airlines and other distressed industries, and loans and grants to small businesses; an earlier package of tax credits and increases for unemployment benefits and food aid; and fresh funds for health authorities and virus tests.

New York is preparing for the pandemic’s climax with unconventional hospital builds, some supply and food workers are moving beyond hazard payments and better security protection, and new economic data show that China’s economy is slowly coming back to life. Shelby Holiday from WSJ has the latest information on the pandemic.

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Legislators from both parties share Mr. Trump’s desire to include infrastructure investments in future efforts.

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi (D., California) has said in a number of press appearances in recent days that the next bill will include infrastructure funding, with a focus on expanding broadband access and overhauling water supplies. She said she intended the bill to be impartial.

“In addition, it is an economic problem, it is a job problem, it immediately creates jobs to build infrastructure,” she said in a press conference on Monday.

Ms. Pelosi has also said that she is envisioning a phase 4 bill to pay for some growing workplace needs: medical vacation, more protection for those at risk of infection, government funding for coronavirus testing, and help for pension funds due to the economic jerk.

The Federal Reserve cut its key rate to near zero on March 15, describing the move as an urgent response to the new coronavirus pandemic.

Democrats and Trump have long shared the goal of adopting a comprehensive infrastructure law, and have repeatedly failed to do so because they have been unable to overcome differences in the payment of new investments.

It is unclear whether the chambers of Congress will adopt a fourth round of legislation, as Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) Said Tuesday morning that he was unsure whether another bill would be needed work out.

“First of all, I think we need to see how the current bill works,” said McConnell on The Hugh Hewitt Show. “Let’s see how it goes and react accordingly.”

Ms. Pelosi also said on Tuesday that she would like to extend voting via email prior to the November election.

Both the democratically controlled house and the GOP-led Senate left Washington after finalizing the $ 2 trillion aid bill last week. Legislators in both chambers have been infected with Covid-19. Ms. Pelosi said the Democrats would remotely prepare a new bill in the coming weeks and return to Washington to vote on it, although this will likely not happen until April 20.

Mr McConnell said in his radio interview on Tuesday that he was wary of Ms. Pelosi’s efforts to quickly add another bill.

“I will not allow this to be an opportunity for the Democrats to achieve unrelated policy issues that they otherwise could not adopt,” he said.

Global spread

Locations sorted by the date of the first reported infection.

Cumulative infections reported daily

* Cruise ship docked in Japan
Note: The data begin when Johns Hopkins and the WHO begin publishing global case numbers daily. China first reported a pneumonia cluster in Wuhan in early December 2019.


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