Pelosi says infrastructure package coming soon

Source: Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled yesterday that she plans to introduce a long-awaited infrastructure package soon.

“This issue of broadband, it will be even more significantly put forth in our infrastructure bill, which we hope to bring up soon because it is so necessary,” the California Democrat said at a press conference.

Pelosi has continued to call for a massive green infrastructure package to be part of the pandemic response, but that effort has been repeatedly delayed as economic assistance and public health needs have ballooned.

Her remarks come as leaders in both chambers of Congress have identified infrastructure as a priority for the summer agenda.

In the Senate, the Environment and Public Works Committee has already approved measures aimed at reauthorizing the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Greenwire, May 6).

The latter, S. 2302, would provide $287 billion for surface transportation over five years and contains the first-ever climate change title.

In the House, Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is still working to draft the highway and water infrastructure measures, an aide confirmed.

“Both the surface bill and WRDA are moving along, on separate tracks,” the aide said in an email to E&E News.

President Trump, who campaigned on modernizing the nation’s roads and bridges, discussed infrastructure yesterday in a meeting at the White House with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

Cuomo said after the meeting that a robust infrastructure investment could help jump-start the economy as it reopens.

“You want to supercharge the reopening? That’s how you do it,” he said, according to CBS New York. “We’re still living on the infrastructure built by our grandparents, not even our parents.”

Cuomo quipped that if Trump lent his support to infrastructure investment, the New York governor would personally help construct large projects.

“If he gives us the green light, this is not going to be years of discussion,” he said. “I have a shovel in the trunk of my car and will start this afternoon.”