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As Congress debates a massive $1.9 trillion spending package intended to provide relief from the coronavirus, President Joe Biden has challenged those who say it spends too much. The president has asked where cuts should be made:
Critics say my plan is too big, that it costs $1.9 trillion. So that’s too much. Well, let me ask them: What would they have me cut? What would they have me leave out?
It’s important to note that it’s not just a few people or a few partisan opponents who warn that the bill wastes too much money. Criticism comes from a diverse range of organizations and individuals.
They include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, and Lawrence Summers, a senior economic official in several Democratic presidential administrations.
They are among the economists, think tanks, policy champions and others who have said either the bill spends too much or fails to target genuine needs.
Among the wasteful spending included in H.R. 1319:
It is important for Congress to support the millions of Americans who are working hard to recover stronger from the pandemic. But that can’t be an excuse to waste hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money on bailouts and low-priority initiatives.
Instead, assistance should be timely, targeted, and temporary. And policymakers should focus on commonsense reforms that will help us all recover stronger.