Trump signed a sweeping $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, H.R. 748 (116), last week. But lawmakers are already eyeing the next installment as a vehicle for priorities including clean energy tax credits and some sort of infrastructure package.
The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that lawmakers, Trump administration officials, think tanks and lobbyists are already looking forward to the next package, with many expecting the debate to begin by late April. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi echoed on CNN on Sunday that there’s plenty more to do in the next measure. “We have to pass another bill that goes to meeting the need more substantially than we have,” she said. Washington’s eagerness to aid the economy is also creating a potential boom for lobbyists, who have begun a blitz on everything from coronavirus testing kits to pushing EPA to haste its regulatory processing of disinfectants, The New York Times reports.
Infrastructure: Both the House and Senate have begun work on surface transportation bills ahead of a September deadline to act, but lawmakers haven’t been able to settle on how to pay for the legislation, Pro’s Sam Mintz reports. House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) wants to “double down on an infrastructure package that repairs the breach left by years of neglect.” As for the pay-for, an infrastructure lobbyist told Sam that given the record low gas prices, debate about the gas tax “could re-enter the equation.”
Clean energy: Renewable energy groups are also expected to push for green energy tax credits in the next package, as Pro’s Anthony Adragna, Zack Colman and Gavin Bade reported. The Coalition for Green Capital, a group advocating for a national climate infrastructure bank, put out new poll data today that found 71 percent of respondents said they’d support Congress including funding in a stimulus bill for the construction of clean energy and transportation infrastructure.
Fossil fuels: There could also be another push to include money for the Energy Department to buy oil to store in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, after the last relief package omitted the funds requested by the department and the president. “Expect both low-carbon and fossil energy interests to press their case for support in coming weeks,” according to analysts at BloombergNEF in a note Friday.