A group of GOP senators has begun to push for a coronavirus relief bill with a focus on infrastructure progress, even as others in Senate Republican leadership remain wary of an additional massive spending package.
“I want to do infrastructure,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) told CNN on Wednesday. “I told Trump, this is the time. We got it teed up. This is the time to go big….It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give a facelift to the country.”
Senators Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) and Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) concur.
“I think June doesn’t need to come and go without a phase four,” said Blunt, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Wicker told CNN that “optimistically, we might move before the Fourth of July….I do think we will move on phase four before the August break.”
Congress has passed close to $3 trillion in economic relief legislation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the largest such aid packages in U.S. history. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has attempted to slow down new efforts at relief spending.
“We need to assess what we’ve already done, take a look at what worked and what didn’t work, and we’ll discuss the way forward in the next couple of weeks,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.
President Trump in late March voiced support for infrastructure legislation, however McConnell dismissed the idea at the time.
“McConnell was essentially saying that, while the president will be willing to spend any amount of money between now and November, it was going to be up to Senate Republicans to act like Republicans and resist crazy spending,” a source with knowledge of a Senate Republican joint call told Axios at the time.