A potential fourth congressional coronavirus relief measure will target recovery efforts and make infrastructure a key issue as House Democrats begin the drafting process.
Speaking to reporters on a March 30 conference call, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that Democrats are collecting information, taking inventory, and looking at what issues need to be addressed. “I do think that it’s really important that as soon as we’re here, we’re ready to pass legislation,” Pelosi said.
House Democrats have been adamant that they want another bill to address the economic and healthcare crisis caused by the coronavirus.
But it is unlikely that lawmakers will hit the ground running once they return from recess. Pelosi said March 26 that a fourth bill should be bipartisan and told reporters March 30 that she doesn’t anticipate there will be bipartisan legislation ready to go when Congress returns to the Capitol. The House and the Senate are not expected back in session before April 20.
One issue to be addressed involves the tax rebate payments going to individuals making less than $75,000. Pelosi acknowledged that the payments aren’t enough, especially as more states are closing nonessential businesses, so she plans to push for additional direct payments.
More money for pensions is also something House Democrats are considering. Pelosi said President Trump has previously said he was in favor of such a provision, only to see Senate Republicans oppose the idea.
House Democrats will also concentrate on infrastructure as part of any new recovery package. According to Pelosi,
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., has been a proponent of creating an infrastructure plan to help the economy. Such a proposal can gain support from Republicans, Pelosi said, highlighting that both parties acknowledge the need for better infrastructure in the country.
“Infrastructure has never been a partisan issue. Ever,” Pelosi said.