While Washington gossips about the latest leaks from John Bolton's book, little progress is being made on legislation to deal with the coronavirus or 1.5 million new weekly unemployment claims. (See page 1.)
Congress is scheduled soon for a two-week break for July 4, and there is diminishing hope that any meaningful legislation can pass, as the Senate continues to consider its options with respect to a Phase 4 coronavirus package. There was a flurry of press releases on infrastructure ideas; but much like other issues in Washington there is little room for optimism.
There is, however, a possibility that in July the House and Senate could take up a Highway Trust Fund bill that would put $250 billion into highway construction, which over the years has been bipartisan.
President Donald Trump has talked about a $2 trillion infrastructure program to go well beyond highways to include airports, trains and other big projects; but there are two areas of resistance. First, large infrastructure programs are usually the domain of Democrats with little Republican enthusiasm, and in 2020 there is the added complication of Democrats likely to include Green New Deal ideas—an anathema to Republicans—in any large infrastructure package.Congress has only a limited number of legis...