U.S. Rep. Mark Green, (R-TN-07) said Thursday there are some unfortunate realities about the pending $2 trillion federal stimulus bill, but he also said the country needs Congress to pass it.
Members of Congress wrote the bill to heal the U.S. economy as it copes with the COVID-19 outbreak, Green said.
Yes, the legislation, if enacted, will add to the national debt.
And, yes, U.S. Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) stuffed the legislation with pork barrel projects, including $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, Green said.
“Maybe Nancy Pelosi wants somebody doing some sort of decorative origami of the virus itself. I don’t know. I don’t get it. But there’s pork in the bill,” Green said during a Facebook Tele-Town Hall Thursday.
“Unfortunately, we don’t get to help our businesses without that in there. Because then the Democrats won’t pass the bill. We had a good bill a week ago. The U.S. Senate was ready to make a deal. The Speaker moved in and said ‘No. We have to add all of this other stuff.’ Fortunately, we were able to get a lot of that removed. But this is the bill that passed the Senate, and it’s the version that will come to the House. Unfortunately, it’s the version I will have to vote on.”
Green’s constituents, many of whom were small business owners, asked a variety of questions about COVID-19 during Thursday’s Tele-Town Hall.
Green said the U.S. economy is about $1.8 trillion per month. Members of Congress have designed this $2 trillion stimulus bill to fund the economy for about that amount of time, he added.
“We are going to have to borrow the money that we give out,” Green said.
Green also said he expects to have what he called “a hockey puck type recession.”
“We open back up for business whenever that is appropriate based on the community and then the money that is in the economy is going to explode and fuel some massive growth,” Green said.
“You will see a massive dip in GDP in this quarter and then a massive increase.”
One small business owner asked Green specifically how this bill can help him.
Green said the bill helps the self-employed and independent contractors and treats them the same as businesses. The Small Business Administration, Green went on to say, would help those people cover their expenses. The SBA will also forgive that loan if the borrowers meet certain criteria.
Green did not set a timetable by which he thinks the country should get back up and running.
“I don’t know that we can put a flag in the dirt and say this is the date, but we need a date,” Green said.
“Businesses need to know and be able to plan if it’s going to be Date X or Date Y. From my perspective, I think that should really depend on the states.”
Posted by Congressman Mark Green on Thursday, March 26, 2020
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