Sen. Rand Paul said that as Congress discusses a “phase four” stimulus bill, he wants to remind people that the federal government is deep in debt and does not have any money to give states whose economies are shut down.
“We have no money, we have no rainy day account, we have no savings account,” the Kentucky Republican told the Fox News program “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday.
“The three trillion that we’ve already passed out is imaginary money. It’s being borrowed basically from China.”
He pointed to the irony that the United States is now going to be even more dependent on China for helping bail out its citizens from the effects of a virus that came from China.
Paul said that the only way to avoid an economic depression is by “opening the economy.”
“It’s not a lack of money, it’s a lack of commerce,” he said.
“If you let people have commerce, if you let them trade, if you take them out from forcible home arrest, our economy will recover, but if you keep everybody under home arrest and say you cannot practice your business, you cannot sell your goods, there will continue to be economic calamity.”
Paul also called out the Democratic governors who are refusing to reopen their states but want to borrow money from the federal government.
“All these blue-state governors who don’t want to open their state, they all are clamoring for federal money to bail them out because no state revenue is coming in. We don’t have any money,” he said.
A Treasury Department spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that California, which has had a statewide stay-at-home order in effect since March 19, has borrowed $348 million after being approved to obtain $10 billion in federal funds through the end of July.
As of Monday, there were 58,794 cases of coronavirus in the Golden State, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been facing pressure from cities and counties as many defy his stay-at-home order.
Illinois and Connecticut have also been granted loans to help with unemployment payments, $12.6 billion and $1.1 billion respectively, but neither state had started borrowing money at the end of April.
The Senate returned to Capitol Hill on Monday to discuss the “phase four” coronavirus relief legislation that both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agree needs to address the health and economic crisis faced by Americans because of the coronavirus pandemic, ABC News reported.
Although it is uncertain what that stimulus bill might look like, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed the desire for additional funding for things like rural hospitals and the U.S. Postal Service.
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