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Next Phase of Stimulus Likely to Focus on Infrastructure

Posted on Mar 31, 2020 07:59 pm

Congress is already talking about the next round of stimulus policy – often referred to as “phase 4” – and it is expected to focus on infrastructure development, according to several panelists at a COVID-19 Military Support Initiative town hall Tuesday.

“The economy is stalling, but the foundation is in place, and it just needs a jump-start,” former DOD Comptroller John Conger said.

He added that a focus on “shovel-ready” projects in communities and on installations would create jobs and support struggling businesses, noting that the majority of money appropriated for military construction goes to small businesses in local communities.

Conger suggested additional funding for the defense critical infrastructure program, which would fund projects in defense communities.

What seems certain is that more relief is on the way.

“We have not seen the end of the stimulus or spending,” said Mackenzie Eaglen at the American Enterprise Institute. “This is an issue that is changing quickly, and I think Congress will continue to respond as needed.”

Less certain, however, is the timing. Congress is temporarily unable to meet in person because of social distancing guidelines, but work continues even as they are in their home districts and states.

“A key issue is going to be how to pay for it – whether it needs to be paid for or if they continue to rely on deficit spending,” said Jamie Miller, former principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs.

Photo by U.S. Navy // Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Stoltz

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Post courtesy of the Association of Defense Communities

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