Coastwide
(Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

COVID-19 Economic Recovery Should Include Infrastructure Investment

As the nation continues to be impacted by COVID-19, there are silver linings to the crisis: family time and togetherness, gratitude for what we had before it was taken away, and a chance to seek opportunities to be better and more productive.

As funding bills related to the COVID-19 crisis move forward, there may be an opportunity for the nation to better itself by modernizing its infrastructure.

Congress has, to date as of this writing, passed three phases of a coronavirus relief package. Phase One, enacted March 6, provided $8 billion primarily for health-related needs and international programs. Phase Two, enacted March 18, provided paid leave, tax credits, expanded unemployment and nutrition assistance, and free COVID-19 testing. Phase Three, enacted March 27, provided $2.2 trillion to support the government’s response to the pandemic and to help individuals and businesses impacted by the economic downturn. Phase Four was said to be a potential vehicle for infrastructure funding, with as much as $2 trillion touted by President Trump for this purpose, with indications of support from House Democrats. It now appears that Phase Four will not undertake infrastructure, but instead will provide more of what Phase Three offered, with around a quarter trillion dollars in additional relief for small businesses.

If infrastructure is to become part of a future emergency supplemental funding bill, the inland waterways fit nearly seamlessly into the reasons behind such an initiative – to jump-start the American economy and get American workers back on the job to build beneficial projects.

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