WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Despite Republican pushback, Democrats are continuing to celebrate the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that’s already been hitting bank accounts.
But they say this is only the beginning and are already eyeing their next policy agenda.
“It’s pretty exciting,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
On ABC’s “This Week,” Pelosi said the plan will help millions of Americans recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.
“Fifty percent of children in poverty will be taken off of poverty,” Pelosi said.
No republican lawmakers voted for the COVID-19 relief package.
U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pushed back against assertions that the surge of money into the economy will spike inflation and exacerbate the national deficit.
“I think it’s manageable,” Yellen said. “The most significant risk we face is a workforce that’s scarred by a long period of unemployment.”
But on Fox News Sunday, Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy called the plan unnecessary and wasteful.
“The economy is recovering,” Cassidy said. “It’s estimated by CBO that our economy will grow by 4.1% this year without this latest package.”
Now Congress is turning its focus to passing an overdue bipartisan infrastructure plan. But there already appears to be some cracks in the foundation.
“They ignored what we did in a bipartisan way,” Rep. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said.
Barrasso says last time infrastructure was on the table, Democrats pushed what he calls divisive green energy policies.
“We got it to the House, and what did the House do? They replaced our highway bill with the green new deal,” Barrasso said.
Pelosi insists Democrats want to strike a deal, but they are committed to President Joe Biden’s campaign promise to begin the transition to sustainable green energy.
“This is about broadband, it’s about water systems, it’s about mass transit,” Pelosi said. “The goal is growth creating good paying jobs as we protect our planet.”
Pelosi says she is not ruling out new taxes to fund the project.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will hit the road to hold a “Help is Here” tour. The mission of the tour is to educate Americans on what’s inside the COVID-19 relief package.