That, apparently, is what Democrats propose we do, and are urging lawmakers involved in the negotiations led by Vice President Biden to include in any potential deal new spending measures — in the form of infrastructure projects, clean energy subsidies and a payroll tax cut for employers — to “stimulate” the sluggish economy. Seriously:
WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) – Efforts in Washington to head off a debt default faced a new hurdle on Wednesday as Democratic leaders called for additional spending to boost the sluggish economy.
Democrats’ demand for new stimulus spending is at odds with the work of negotiators, led by Vice President Joe Biden, who are trying to find trillions of dollars in savings as part of a deal that would allow Congress to sign off on new government borrowing before the U.S. runs out of money to pay its bills.
Those talks, which resumed on Wednesday, have largely focused on spending cuts over the next 10 years. Senate Democrats want the deal to include more money for highway construction, a payroll tax cut and clean-energy subsidies to bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
“Get the recovery right before you get in this deficit-cutting mode,” Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin told reporters. “Get people back to work. Let’s start moving in that direction.”
Republicans, who favor deep spending cuts, said that idea was not likely to go far in the Biden-led talks.
UPDATE: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) comes right out and says it:
“This is a stimulus program,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the No. 3 Democrat, adding that a package would be paid for in the long run as part of the deficit reduction package.
“Let’s say it costs $50 billion or $100 billion, we’re going to have to make that up to keep with the president’s goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years,” Schumer said.