WASHINGTON – Congress is considering a second economic stimulus package that could include $15 billion in infrastructure spending, a senior member of the House told Reuters on Tuesday.
Rep. James Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat who chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said a stimulus package could include "accelerating" payouts of $9.5 billion from the federal trust fund assigned to road construction and maintenance.
"You can have 700,000 people working in three months. We should have done it this spring," Oberstar told Reuters in an interview.
If approved, the funding would go to more than 2,600 projects, he said. States would receive full federal funding and then have a few years to pay back any matching funds.
Oberstar gave a list of spending possibilities to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week, who "likes the idea."
Democrats are considering supporting another economic stimulus measure to revive the economy after Congress approved a $152 billion measure in February, which taxpayers received in the form of checks during the spring and early summer.
The timing of a second stimulus bill remains up in the air.
President Bush has said he wants to see how effective the first stimulus package is before lending his support to another one.