Roads, Bridges, and Jobs Are the Focus of Trump’s Phase 4 Proposal
Soon after signing the country’s largest-ever $2 Trillion economic rescue bill, President Trump is pushing for what he calls a “very big and bold” Phase 4 that would unleash yet another $2 trillion.
In a tweet last March 31, as the country completed the first troublesome coronavirus quarter, Trump stated that Phase 4 funds would “be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country“, according to a USA Today report.
At Resource Erectors we’ve been tracking the controversial infrastructure spending gap and the $10 billion drop in civil construction spending between 2007 and 2017 that candidate Trump promised to correct as a plank in his 2016 presidential campaign. Delays in replacing the crumbling roads and collapsing bridges were blamed on the decreased spending power when construction material prices jumped.
The allocation of available infrastructure funds was often used for short-term patches and repairs of critical infrastructure such as water and waste systems.
So even when spending was up in these sectors, new systems and upgrades remain yet to be built.
Correcting the Decades-Old Infrastructure Crisis
The early phases of the stimulus package already passed by Congress and signed by the president provide cash payments to individual Americans, loans to businesses, and financial aid to industries burdened by the nationwide shutdowns required to “flatten the curve” of the spreading coronavirus.
With that first response completed President Trump says now is the time to tackle the decades-old problem of crumbling infrastructure. The 20th Century legacy of obsolete roads and bridges and deteriorating water and waste management infrastructure has been embroiled in partisan political maneuvering and still needs correction even as we move into the 3rd decade of the 21st Century.
When the Federal Reserve announced that short-term interest rates would be cut to zero on March 15th, President Trump took it as his cue to launch “our decade long-awaited infrastructure bill”.
Now even House Democrats are taking a renewed interest in infrastructure spending, unveiling their own $760 billion infrastructure spending plan for a 5-year program that would provide more jobs and “spur economic activity” according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Democrats’ bill would dovetail with Trump’s $2 Trillion Phase 4 infrastructure spending, but with more spending on public housing and new schools.
President Trump, as a construction magnate himself, has always been a strong supporter of infrastructure spending. There may be a silver lining to the coronavirus crisis cloud now, as Democrats and Republicans unite in the push for Phase 4. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing for infrastructure investment in the areas of healthcare and the digital economy, according to a CNBC report.
Chuck Schumer envisions a “Marshall Plan” for U.S. public health infrastructure with emergency funding for hospitals and medical equipment already included in the first phase stimulus package.
When the House and Senate return to Washington on April 20th, Republican Senator John Barrasso says his Environment and Public Works Committee has a $287 billion bipartisan highway spending bill that’s ready to go with the unanimous backing of committee members.
About Resource Erectors
As the country turns to the immense job of restoring the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and recovering from the economic burdens of the coronavirus, professional civil construction and qualified engineering talent are sure to be in high demand.
While Phase 1 of the stimulus package provides much-needed economic first aid, the trillions of dollars unleashed by a robust Phase 4 could catalyze a recovery in every industrial sector including manufacturing, mining, logistics, engineering, aggregates, and construction materials.
At Resource Erectors, we maintain recruiting connections to talented, top-qualified professionals and the industry-leading companies of North America who need them to ensure that businesses and professionals alike can optimize the opportunities that come their way in good times and bad.
When you need to stay ahead of the human resources curve in today’s dynamic, ever-changing business environment please don’t hesitate to contact us today.