Washington Preparing Next Round of Stimulus

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 2, 2020

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 With ink still drying on the last deal, Democratic lawmakers are already calling for a new round of stimulus measures in response to the global pandemic, this one focusing on infrastructure, according to the Wall Street Journal. The House plan had already been in the works prior to the crisis, but members of Congress are repurposing the $760 billion five-year plan as an economic stimulus measure. They might find an unlikely ally in the White House, which has frequently alluded to wanting a massive infrastructure program over the last four years, including this past Tuesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has, in fact, said that the Democrats and the White House are already in the same ballpark in terms of spending, as the House's $760 billion plan is spread out over five years and the White House's $2 trillion plan would be spread out over 10 years, said MarketWatch.

The House plan calls for $329 billion for bridges and highways, $105 billion for transit agencies, $55 billion for trains, $30 billion for airport improvements, and $86 billion for expanding broadband access. On top of the original plan, however, the Democrats are also calling for an additional $10 billion for community health centers, schools, public housing, drinking water systems and public safety communication systems. The White House does not yet have a written plan of its own, but MarketWatch noted that it is upbeat and confident that a deal can be reached by the end of the month.

The next round of virus relief might also revisit certain parts of the 2017 tax law, particularly the $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes, which have disproportionately affected Democratic states (New York Gov. Cuomo said this was by design), according to Bloomberg. The administration, for its part, has expressed an interest in restoring business deductions for restaurant meals and entertainment.

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