The Obama administration is appealing to Congress to pass another stimulus package to boost the economics, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are saying no to more spending.
In a letter sent to legislators over the weekend, President Barack Obama “made an unequivocal case for spending more now — particularly on measures to support small business and state governments — to ensure the recovery doesn’t ‘slide backwards,'” the Washington Post reported.
“People are suffering out there. We want to keep this economy growing faster. We want to see an acceleration of job creation. And we have to take some steps to continue in that direction,” top White House adviser David Axelrod told NBC’s Meet the Press.
“Senate Democrats have introduced legislation that would renew expiring unemployment benefits, and extend business and individual tax breaks. They would offset some of the bill’s costs by raising taxes on hedge fund managers and other steps. The bill complements one passed in the House of Representatives last month, which would authorize about $80 billion in new spending and add $31 billion to the deficit. The cost of the Senate version has not been estimated yet.
Obama also backs a separate measure that would provide cash to states to prevent teacher layoffs but a $23 billion version of that legislation recently failed in the Senate.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “agrees with the White House on the need to create jobs and get our economy back on track, as we have been working to do since this crisis hit,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley told the Post.
“Unfortunately, we are dealing with a Republican party that would rather say no than address the needs of their constituents.”
But Democrats as well as Republicans are balking at the cost of such measures.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) told the Washington Post that the $80 billion increase over the next 10 years is too much at a time when the national debt is set to top $13 trillion.
“The more we borrow on these important areas,” he said, “the more I think we will retard the recovery period dramatically because of more deficit and debt.”
The GOP also had comments about more spending:
“Fact is that the spending spree in Washington is continuing to run unabated,” Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The American people are screaming at the top of their lungs, ‘Stop! And to move this without finding other offsets in spending, I think, is irresponsible.”