Senators push for infrastructure plan in next coronavirus relief bill

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – As the coronavirus threat continues to spread throughout the U.S., President Trump signed a second relief bill for free testing, paid sick leave, and food assistance.

Now the Senate is discussing options for the next round of help.  

“We need to have a huge, Trump, if you will, infrastructure package,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA.

Cassidy said rebuilding roads, bridges and more would immediately put construction and manufacturing jobs back to work.

“And then you begin to put the service industry to work to help those in manufacturing and construction,” he said.

While other senators are discussing direct payments to Americans, emergency loans for small businesses, and bailouts for hospitals and airlines, Cassidy argues a major infrastructure plan would be more than just a temporary fix.

“Long-term, our GDP improves,” he said. “By the way, we can borrow at record-low interest rates. So now we would do it and minimize the negative impact on our debt.”

Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY, wants his infrastructure bill attached to this third stimulus package, which would authorize $287 billion for roads and bridges over five years.

Even though there’s bi-partisan support for the legislation, members like Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-MS, say now may not be the time.

“We want anything that’s directly related to the coronavirus right now and the damage it’s caused,” said Hyde-Smith.

Despite the disagreement, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to keep the Senate in session until they pass a third relief plan.

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