Biden, Republican Senators Quibble Over Whether To Spend Billions or Trillions
It’s been a little over a month since Congress passed a $900 billion pandemic relief bill that extended federal unemployment benefits, provided another round of loans to small businesses, and sent stimulus checks to most Americans. Now lawmakers have turned to other pressing issues, such as debating another relief bill that will extend unemployment benefits, provide another round of loans to small businesses, and send stimulus checks to most Americans.
On Monday, 10 Republican Senators—among them Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah—previewed a $618 billion stimulus bill before a scheduled meeting today with President Joe Biden, who is pushing for an even larger $1.9 trillion relief package.
“Mr. President, we recognize your calls for unity and want to work in good faith with your Administration to meet the health, economic, and societal challenges of the COVID crisis,” the senators said in a joint statement, according to The Hill.
If a sizable portion of senate Republicans are willing to go along with yet another relief package so soon, that doesn’t bode well for fiscal restraint under Biden, says Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute.
“To restrain the big-government policies of Biden and the Democrats in the next two years, Republicans need to stick together,” Edwards tells Reason. Even if Congress approves no new COVID-19 spending, he notes, the deficit this year will hit $2.6 trillion.
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