House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have proposed a new stimulus relief bill totaling over $3 trillion (https://www.npr.org/2020/05/12/854735065/house-democrats-unveil-3-trillion-proposal-for-coronavirus-relief). This comes after the $2 trillion C.A.R.E.S. from March and the $500 million small business relief bill from April. This new bill would double federal COVID-19 spending, increasing the deficit to over $28 trillion.
The new bill is 1,800 pages long and includes additional funding for many provisions of the past two bills. New provisions include $1 trillion to help bailout state, local, and tribal governments, hazard pay for frontline workers, an extension of the $600 unemployment benefits through January 2021, additional stimulus checks for families with increased amounts for families with dependents, funding for more testing and contact tracing, and a bailout for the US Postal Service. Democrats added these provisions to help fill perceived gaps in the previous bills. Many of these measures come in opposition to Republican hopes to reopen the country and reinvigorate the economy.
While the bill includes many aspects of the Democrats' policy wish list, it is expected to die in the Republican majority Senate. Many Republicans have criticized the bill, calling it a publicity stunt focused on partisan politics instead of helping the American public. Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said, "This is nothing more than a messaging exercise from House Democrats. It is an effort to try and create talking points for the 2020 election. It's not going anywhere, and we know that."
As the future continues to remain uncertain, should another spending bill move through both houses or has the federal government spent enough? Even if a bill could find bipartisan support, would the short term benefits outweigh the long term consequences? Will this attempt backfire on the Democrats' 2020 election hopes or will it serve as additional fodder against President Trump and the Republicans?
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