House Republicans Plead with Trump To 'Stand Against' a 'Rushed Fourth and Fifth Phase' of Coronavirus Relief
A number of House Republicans are urging President Donald Trump to refrain from supporting a “rushed fourth and fifth phase” of coronavirus relief by asking him to consider such legislation’s long-term effects on the national debt.
In a letter to the president, nearly two dozen House Republicans praised Trump’s efforts to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, but also warned against more spending — even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling for another round of spending focusing on infrastructure.
“We applaud you for the heroic efforts you and the Administration have taken in the face of the largest public health challenge our nation has faced in over a century,” the lawmakers said in their letter.
“Now that the CARES Act has been signed into law, we urge you to stand against the additional requests that are already circulating for a rushed fourth and fifth phase of relief,” the GOP lawmakers added.
“Most of the relief funding from Phase 2 and Phase 3 has not even been distributed yet. We advise caution in considering an additional round of spending outside of the regular process before we have seen the results of the previous three rounds of spending,” the letter continued.
The representatives applauded the country’s health care workers and other essential workers on the front lines of the war against COVID-19, but warned further spending could prove detrimental to America’s financial wellbeing.
“During this time of crisis, we have been enormously encouraged by the efforts of our brave doctors, nurses, first responders, law enforcement personnel, and others on the front lines of this struggle, as well as by the resilience of Americans across the country,” the letter added.
“We also have great sympathy for the millions of workers who are currently unemployed, and above all for the families of those who have lost their lives,” the representatives continued.
“However, while our nation will win the war against the coronavirus, it may not win the war against our mounting debt. Even before the CARES Act was signed into law, the national debt stood at $23.6 trillion, which equates to nearly $73,000 for every citizen — man, woman, and child.”
“Now we will add at least $2 trillion to this already unsustainable sum. Every dollar we add to the debt today makes it increasingly less likely that we will be able to provide even the basic services our citizens have come to expect in the decades to come,” they wrote.
Any additional relief packages, the lawmakers argued, “should be solely designed to restore and grow the U.S. economy with as little long-term government intervention as possible.”
The letter was signed by Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Andy Harris of Maryland, Chip Roy of Texas, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Ron Wright of South Carolina; Randy Weber of Texas, Jody Hice of Georgia, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve King of Iowa, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Russ Fulcher of Idaho, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, Greg Steube of Florida, Ross Spano of Florida, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Ken Buck of Colorado, Tom McClintock of Texas, Michael Cloud of Texas and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
The Hill reported Friday that Senate Republicans are holding informal discussions about how to proceed with a fourth round of spending.
“We haven’t seen the impact of this package so far, but we are already discussing a phase four. Included in phase four will be some of the modifications that we learned about in phase three,” Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota told KNAX.
CNBC reported Pelosi hopes to address the issue of a phase four bill when Congress reconvenes on Apr. 20.
“I think we come back April 20, God willing and coronavirus willing, but shortly thereafter we should be able to move forward,” she said this week
Trump has expressed support for the idea of a $2 trillion infrastructure plan as a means of revamping much of the country’s aging infrastructure and creating jobs, considering the fact that the financial impact of the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the economy.
“With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4,” Trump tweeted on March 31.
With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2020
President Trump has long supported the idea of sweeping renovations to American infrastructure.
In 2o16, then-candidate Trump said, “We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, sea ports and airports that our country deserves.”
“American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation,” he said, according to RealClearPolitics.
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