Biden wants even more stimulus spending
Despite the trillions of dollars in relief and stimulus official Washington has injected into the economy, the Biden administration want even more:
The Biden administration is preparing to ask Congress for “substantial” funding to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic domestically and abroad, according to House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer.
The Maryland Democrat told reporters Tuesday during a pen-and-pad briefing that he expects the White House will ask lawmakers to appropriate funding for testing, vaccines and “to make sure schools have resources to keep themselves safe.”
Hoyer did not say whether congressional leaders would seek to tie the forthcoming supplemental spending request to the Feb. 18 deadline for funding the government. But he added that pandemic aid “has an immediacy and an urgency that should compel us to move quickly.”
Wait, wait, wait…what happened to the money already shoveled out the door?
…GOP lawmakers point to unspent funds remaining in agency coffers from prior rounds of pandemic relief. In a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona…Republican Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Richard M. Burr of North Carolina asked for a breakdown of what’s still available, citing data showing that, as of Dec. 30, nearly 72 percent of $266 billion in pandemic-related education appropriations hasn’t yet been spent.
“Schools have the funding necessary to address the impacts of COVID-19 and keep students in school,” the senators wrote. Blunt is the top Republican on the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, while Burr is the ranking GOP senator on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Their letter follows a separate one last week asking Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra for an accounting of how prior COVID-19 testing funds totaling nearly $83 billion appropriated by Congress are being used.
Bottom line: There’s still tens of billions of dollars from those earlier relief efforts waiting to be spent. Asking for more makes absolutely no sense.
Unless we allow cynicism to take over. Then, a quick glance at the calendar says it’s 2022 – a congressional mid-term election year. And the historical odds are stacked against Democrats. Tossing billions of additional dollars into programs for schools, testing and so on, then, makes perfect political sense. It shows Democrats care, are working hard to show it. Never mind the debt.