ABOVE: Stephen Moore with FreedomWorks appeared on the Friday edition of CBN Newswatch to talk more about the stimulus package and the national debt crisis. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel.
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives both approved a measure this week that kicks off the process of pushing through President Joe Biden's $1.9-trillion coronavirus relief bill, completely bypassing Republicans in both chambers.
Now congressional committees will begin working on details outlined in the stimulus package. The Senate approved the initiative early Friday morning by a 51-to-50 margin with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.
Some leaders in Washington believe this new round of massive stimulus spending is needed due to continued loss of jobs and unemployment across the nation caused by pandemic lockdowns.
But economist Stephen Moore with the grassroots economic group Freedom Works says the money from the last stimulus package hasn't even been spent yet, and lawmakers should hold off before expanding the national debt to crushing levels.
"We've already spent $3.7 trillion on COVID relief, including $900 billion shortly after Christmas," he said.
"There's a trillion dollars that still hasn't been spent," he added. "The economy is getting better, we got a good jobs report, the unemployment rate fell again. We're starting to see the states open up. We do not need to bankrupt our country to get the economy moving again."
During an interview last month, Moore told John Catsimatidis, host of "The Cats Roundtable" that Biden's COVID relief bill is more of a Bernie Sanders-type wish list instead of a stimulus bill.
"It is an incredibly expensive plan that will massively increase the national debt," Moore told Catsimatidis. "It is $1.9 trillion, and it's basically the Bernie Sanders wish list of spending on a massive blue state bailouts: $100B for schools, even though schools have been shut down for the last year."
"Most of the stuff in this bill has nothing to do with the health emergency. It's just spending what liberals wanted to do for the last 20 years," Moore added.
Moore told CBN News it's part of a broader problem of overspending, pointing to the Democrats' overall budget plan.
"It is in my opinion a fiscal abomination," Moore told CBN News. "This is maybe the worst budget ever introduced in the history of the United States Congress. The budget is $6 trillion in one year and it's almost $4 trillion of deficits...in one year. It took the country 200 years to rack up $4 trillion in debt and we're going to do it in one year."
Meanwhile, the Labor Department reports U.S. employers added just 49,000 jobs in January but unemployment did fall to 6.3 percent.
The agency believes half the drop happened because some people found jobs while others simply quit looking and weren't counted as unemployed.
President Biden addressed the situation Friday saying our economy is still in trouble, saying "so much of it is still about the virus."
The president went on to say he's going to act and act fast to deal with the ongoing crisis and help Americans who are in pain and have lost hope.
Both sides agree on more money for vaccines, testing, and help for small businesses. Then comes a split on the stimulus checks. The White House wants to send $1,400 directly to most Americans while Republicans want $1,000 payments going to lower-income households rather than people making six figures.
With razor-thin control in the Senate, Democrats need full party support which means convincing their moderate senators like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema who prefer a more bipartisan approach.
Nathan Gonzales, editor of Inside Elections, said, “In the end, it feels like this is going to be passed, the larger bill with reconciliation, now that West Virginia senator Joe Manchin has basically said that he is not going to stall.”