Congress is moving to pass a nearly $2T COVID-19 relief bill.
President Biden is reportedly laying the groundwork for another massive spending package that’s likely to draw criticism from lawmakers already wary of the nation’s already ballooning deficit as Congress moves forward with passing the administration’s nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Biden has started to push forward on passing another economic stimulus plan during phone calls and White House meetings with members of Congress and senior Capitol Hill aides.
It’s unclear what the measure would include, but on the campaign trail, Biden emphasized the need for new infrastructure investments and measures to combat climate change, as well as ways to revitalize the manufacturing industry and revamp housing, education and health care.
A White House official told FOX Business that Biden is “laser-focused” on passing the coronavirus relief package at the moment.
“When the second step on Recovery gets underway, infrastructure is just one example of the sorts of job-creating investments the president would be interested in considering, and is only one component of the Build Back Better agenda he laid out on the campaign trail,” the official said.
Senior Democratic officials have proposed spending as much as $3 trillion on a jobs and infrastructure package that would become the foundation of Biden’s “Build Back Better” program, according to The Washington Post, citing three people familiar with the matter, who cautioned that the numbers were fluid and subject to change.
The proposal is sure to ignite a firestorm of criticism from Republicans, and possibly some moderate Democrats, who are worried about the exorbitant level of government spending.
The legislation would be in addition to the $1.9 trillion relief plan that congressional Democrats are aiming to pass by mid-March, as well as the nearly $4 trillion in stimulus measures under former President Donald Trump. The nation’s deficit totaled a record $3.1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, and the national debt is on track to hit $28 trillion.
Democrats are using a procedural tool known as budget reconciliation to muscle through the latest stimulus package — which includes a fresh round of $1,400 checks and increases unemployment benefits to $400 a week through August — without any Republican support. But White House officials have indicated they want to pass the second measure with bipartisan support, the Journal reported.