Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wasted no time offering a prebuttal to any upcoming economic boom, downplaying the effect of the massive $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill two days before President Joe Biden had even signed it into law.
During the Senate GOP press conference on Wednesday, just hours after the House passed the Senate version of the Covid stimulus package, McConnell and other Senate leaders blasted the bill as full of wasteful Democratic spending that wasn’t directly tied to the pandemic. Biden has announced that he will formally sign the bill, which passed both Congressional chambers without a single Republican vote, on Friday.
Last month, Goldman Sachs estimated that the $1.9 trillion Covid aid bill would supercharge the U.S. economy over the next two years, boosting this year’s second quarter GDP growth to a whopping 11% annualized rate and the yearly growth projection for 2021 and 2022 to 6.8% and 4.5%, respectively. Similarly, a Wall Street Journal survey of economists found the average expectation from Biden’s American Rescue Plan was 5.95% GDP growth this year, which would be the fastest rate in nearly four decades.
Despite these robust, expert predictions, McConnell tried to knock down any economic boom by detaching Biden’s bill from getting any credit for it. Instead, he highlighted the more than $2 trillion CARES Act of coronavirus aid that passed last year under former President Donald Trump — and that almost every Democrat in Congress voted for.
“Here we are a year later, the Democrats acting as if nothing’s changed,” McConnell claimed. “All the signs are that we are on our way out of this. And this is vastly more expensive than should’ve been approved at this juncture.
“The economy’s coming back, people are getting the vaccine, we’re on our way out of this. We’re about to have a boom,” McConnell said, before adding his huge, not-so-subtle caveat. “And if we do have a boom, it will have absolutely nothing to do with this $1.9 trillion.”
Watch the press conference below (the relevant portion begins at the 40:30 mark).
LIVE NOW: The Senate Republican leadership team speaks with the press. https://t.co/AxKnplMmCl
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) March 10, 2021
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