WASHINGTON - A new coronavirus relief package passed Congress Thursday night, bringing nearly $500 billion in aid for American businesses that are struggling to survive the COVID-19 closures.
As the COVID-19 pandemic cratered the economy, the White House vowed to spend whatever it takes to help the American people recover. Now, four relief bills and almost $3 trillion later, some are warning about future consequences from the unprecedented spending.
Before the ink was even dry on the latest multi-billion dollar aid package this week, talks in Congress were already underway for more mammoth spending, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says it's time to pump the breaks.
"My view is we've gone so far on the national debt here that the next time we address this issue, the Senate should be back in session fully up and running with everybody involved in the discussions," McConnell told reporters this week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is ready to get to work on another bill aimed at helping the frontline heroes.
"We have health care workers, transit workers, police, fire, EMS, all kinds of public employees who risk their lives to save lives and now lose their jobs. And this is most unfortunate," Pelosi said.
But McConnell is urging his colleagues to consider future implications and assess what's working from the previous bills.
"Unless we get our economy up and running again there is not any way we can spend enough to continue to prop up the country," warned McConnell.
The $2.8 trillion price tag of the relief bills thus far sparked this warning from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
"The gargantuan federal bailout that just passed over $2 trillion brings us closer and closer to a point of no return," said Paul on the Senate floor this week. "A point at which the world loses confidence in the dollar. A point at which our debt becomes an existential threat to our security."
Paul agrees with McConnell that reopening the economy is the only way out.
"No amount of money, not all the money in China, will save us from ourselves," added Paul. "Our only hope of rescuing this great country is to reopen the economy."
President Trump says he's concerned with the growing debt, but there hasn't been another choice.
"I'm always concerned about everything. We had to fix this problem because we were attacked," said Trump at a press conference Wednesday.
With the latest round of small business loans likely to run out as quickly as the first, lawmakers are hoping clarified language in this latest bill will ensure the money truly goes to the businesses that need it most.
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