Washington — House Democrats unveiled a proposal Wednesday to bolster the country’s infrastructure to mitigate the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, in what would be “phase four” of the congressional response to the outbreak. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters in a conference call that the House’s “interest in infrastructure has always been bipartisan.” The plan builds upon a framework first introduced by Democrats in January, which would cost an estimated $760 billion over five years.

“It’s never been partisan and we don’t intend for it to be partisan now,” Pelosi said.


More in Coronavirus: The Race To Respond

Pelosi said the cost of the proposal would likely be close to the original figure, plus an extra $10 billion to invest in community health centers. The other priorities outlined in the proposal include ensuring access to clean drinking water, investing in expanded broadband service and funding new infrastructure projects. The proposal also includes “buy American” provisions to ensure investment in U.S. companies.

Pelosi said the proposal was “legislatively ready to go,” but added that the House could not vote on the proposal until it reconvenes in late April.

“I think we come back April 20, God willing and coronavirus willing. But shortly thereafter we should be able to move forward,” Pelosi said. President Trump extended guidelines telling Americans to stay at home until April 30 earlier this week.

Mr. Trump has also called on Congress to consider an infrastructure package, tweeting on Tuesday that the bill should cost $2 trillion “and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country!”

However, Republicans have been wary about crafting new coronavirus legislation so soon after Mr. Trump signed three relief bills in March, including the massive $2.2 trillion package finalized last week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday that any phase four legislation passed in the House would not get far in the upper chamber.

“I’m not going to allow this to be an opportunity for the Democrats to achieve unrelated policy items they wouldn’t otherwise be able to pass,” McConnell said.

The proposal unveiled by House Democrats comes after the White House confirmed Tuesday that its own modeling shows between 100,000 and 240,000 people are expected to die before the crisis is over, even if Americans heed social distancing guidelines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

State Department refuses to extradite American charged in deadly UK crash

Greg Palkot reports from London. The U.S. has turned down the extradition request for U.S. citizen Anne Sacoolas, who was charged in the U.K. with causing the death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn by dangerous driving. Sacoolas, 43, was allegedly driving on…

Andy McCarthy suggests Flynn would rather have case dismissed than take pardon from Trump

Andy McCarthy explains where the Michael Flynn case goes after a federal appeals court ruled against the immediate dismissal of the case Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would likely prefer that the Justice Department successfully dismiss the case against him than…

Trump’s India trip mixes politics with policy, and offers the promise of his biggest rally yet

The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning. By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy Original source: Washington Post

Women running for president are raising more money from women than are their male opponents

Can a woman beat President Trump? The question has dogged female candidates throughout the 2020 Democratic primaries — and this week, became a point of dispute between two leading presidential candidates: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. One thing is clear:…