WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Budget Committee released a new report using the words of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve among others to minimize the national debt and highlight the need for another COVID relief bill. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell recently said, "Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses." House Budget Chair John Yarmuth agrees.
"We absolutely have to have more relief. This is a view shared by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, most economists and even the President of the United States," said Yarmuth.
But fiscal conservatives argue the ballooning deficit is unacceptable. The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting the deficit will hit $3.3 trillion this year.
"There is no rainy day fund in Washington. There is no savings account. We can't walk over to the Federal Reserve and open a big safe and there's all the money. There really isn't money. We have to borrow it and so there are repercussions to getting so far in debt and I think we need to consider that," said Sen. Rand Paul, (R-KY).
The economic impact of the novel coronavirus is being particularly hard felt in Kentucky.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Southern Economic Advancement Project of 175 Kentuckians using a free app that helps SNAP participants track their benefit usage – 70 percent of respondents had trouble buying enough food, citing job loss among other issues as a top challenge during the pandemic.
The Commonwealth Fund estimates as many as 7.7 million workers lost jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance as of June 2020 because of the pandemic-induced recession.
"We still have a huge problem in the economy. We have more and more people filing for unemployment now. We have state and local governments still suffering and laying people off and a lot of people out there hurting, a lot of people on the verge of being evicted and foreclosed upon," said Yarmuth.
Congressional Republicans argue House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being too inflexible in these critical negotiations with the White House and Republicans on the next multi-trillion-dollar relief package. Yarmuth argues Speaker Pelosi is not the problem.
"I don’t think she should accept the deal because we are not sure what the deal is. There's a mistake in saying 1.8 trillion dollars is reasonable when you just passed a $2.2 trillion bill, which we did. But the $1.8 trillion is very different from the $2.2 trillion in what it does," said Yarmuth.
"Month after month, Speaker Pelosi has held up urgent assistance for workers, families, schools, and our healthcare system. Month after month, she has refused to set aside non-COVID-related demands and far-left policy riders that she knows are sabotaging any shot at a deal," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R-KY).