• Thomas Parker

Politicians clash on fiscal policy

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that Congress may need to pass additional legislation to support an economy struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but insisted that it would not be the same as the recent $3 trillion spending bill proposed by Democrats.

"If we do another bill it won't look anything like the House Democrats' bill," McConnell said.

McConnell said that the $600 per week unemployment benefits "will not be in the next bill" due to the fact that it would provide a disincentive to work and find work. The House bill proposed by Democrats would have extended the federal unemployment benefits through January 2021.

The Senate Majority Leader has said on several occasions that he would wait for data to emerge, and that would indicate whether or not additional spending by Congress is needed. He said that Congress must track the effects of the multi-trillion dollar spending that it already passed before committing to more.

Republicans called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's bill a "Democratic wish list," but she disagreed.

"The fact is that all four of the bills that have passed were all bipartisan," Pelosi said. She said that the virus is "too deadly to use for any other purpose."

"There would be an endless amount of money in there if we put our wishlist [in the bill], but that is not what the case is," Pelosi said. The bill "is a big price, but the virus is a big problem."

The $3 trillion House bill would have the federal expansion of unemployment benefits through January 2021, provided another $1,200 of direct payments to Americans, and given significant funding to state and local governments.

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