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March 23, 2020 11:45 AM, EDT

Trump Optimistic Economic Stimulus Will Advance

Donald Trump with Mike Pence (L) and Peter Gaynor (R)Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence (left) and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Gaynor. The proposed $1.8 trillion stimulus package would include loan guarantees up to $8 billion for air cargo carriers. (NBC News via YouTube)

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While Republicans and Democrats disagree on certain priorities in a $1.8 trillion economic stimulus package, President Donald Trump recently expressed optimism about its chances of advancing through the chambers this week.

The plan would propose, among other things, loan guarantees of up to $8 billion for cargo air carriers. The stimulus is meant to restore economic normalcy after the coronavirus crisis altered Americans’ way of life.

“Everybody wants to get there. We’ll see what happens. I think you’ll get there. To me, it’s not very complicated,” Trump told reporters at the White House on March 22. “We have to help the worker. We have to save the companies. Because, as soon as we’re finished with this war — it’s not a battle, it’s a war —as soon as we’re finished with this war, our country is going to bounce back like you’ve never seen before.”

Eugene Mulero

Mulero

He added, “I think our stimulus package will get done, and it will be a tremendous package. We’re really not — I mean, they may not have gotten those votes but they’re very close to getting a deal done.”

As the country looks to Congress for an answer to the crisis, senators plan to take up procedural votes March 23 on the rescue package, which Democrats have argued would be insufficient for working families and the soon-to-be-unemployed. Over the weekend, the Republican leadership did not garner sufficient votes to proceed on the package due to partisan objections. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shared his frustration after coming up short on votes.

“So we’re fiddling here. Fiddling with the emotions of the American people, fiddling with the markets, fiddling with our health care,” McConnell said March 22. “The American people expect us to act tomorrow, and I want everyone to fully understand, if we aren’t able to act tomorrow, it’ll be because of our colleagues on the other side continuing to dither when the country expects us to come together and address this problem.”

Democrats are pushing for greater attention to individuals, small businesses and the health care sector nationwide. They’ve argued the measure’s aggressive focus on the corporate class misses the mark. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) put it after the vote, “As the Senate continues to talk, we must continue to act for the people.”

The Week Ahead

March 23-27: Congressional leaders continue to debate a nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus package.

Freight Corridor

Dean Obeidallah shared a special thanks to those truckers out there: “While many of us are huddled up at home to avoid getting ill, these drivers are out on the highways driving past ‘amber waves of grain’ and our nation’s ‘purple mountain majesty’ as they travel from sea to shining sea carrying goods to ensure, bluntly, that we survive.”

 

Buzz

Safety concerns on Capitol Hill have heightened after Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul tested positive for the coronavirus.

Favorite Video

Now, Team Coco with a public service announcement.

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The friends at Fox News attempt to control the narrative.

The Last Word

There’s hundreds of thousands of, millions of things that we’re shipping from the stockpile. I mean, I can’t give you the details about what every single state or what every single city’s doing.

Peter Gaynor, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on ABC’s “This Week” on March 22.

Peter Gaynor

We publish weekly when Congress is in session. E-mail emulero@ttnews.com with tips. Follow us @eugenemulero and @transporttopics.

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