Just a few days after signing a $2 trillion relief package to address the economic impacts as a result of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, President Trump called for an infrastructure package with the same price tag.
"With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill," the president said in a tweet on Tuesday. "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."
The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act the president signed into law this past Friday included $114 billion devoted to the transportation sector.
Back in February, the Trump administration released its FY 2021 budget, which included a proposed $1 trillion in transportation infrastructure investments.
In late April of last year, Trump met with Congressional leaders—including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York)—where all parties agreed to a $2 trillion infrastructure funding bill. A month later, it was reported that the president walked out of an infrastructure meeting with Democratic leadership, saying he would not negotiate on legislation with Democrats while they investigated his administration.
Trump's statements on Twitter come a day after Speaker Pelosi expressed similar sentiments about Phase 4 of the federal government's response to COVID-19. It was reported that on Monday, Pelosi said the next phase of a coronavirus stimulus package ought to include a bipartisan deal on infrastructure spending.
Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, expressed support for the president's call to address infrastructure during this unprecedented time. "In the Senate, we have a bipartisan bill that will invest billions in America’s highways and is ready to go," Barrasso said in a tweet. "Our bill will cut red tape so projects can get done better, faster, cheaper, and smarter."