Congress on verge of spending $3 trillion in December as national debt climbs to $28 trillion

In September, the CBO projected that the national debt will exceed the size of the entire U.S. economy in 2021.

Updated: December 21, 2020 - 2:46pm

The U.S. Congress is on the verge of voting to spend $3 trillion this month alone as the national debt climbs to $28 trillion.

The House and Senate recently passed a $740 billion defense bill and congressional leaders are currently negotiating an appropriations bill along with another coronavirus stimulus package. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have said an appropriations bill and a stimulus bill are likely to pass together.

The last stimulus package that Congress passed, the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March, was the largest in U.S. history.

Lawmakers are considering a $1.4 trillion appropriations bill that would fund the federal government through September 2021. Regular government funding runs out at midnight on Friday. 

The coronavirus relief legislation recently unveiled by a bipartisan group of lawmakers is estimated at $748 billion, not including direct stimulus payments that could be included in the final stimulus package. If direct payments are factored in, the relief package would be about $900 billion.

If Congress passes the $1.4 trillion appropriations bill along with the coronavirus relief package that includes stimulus payments, lawmakers will have spent almost $3 trillion in December. 

In addition, a $160 billion state and local funding relief bill that includes liability protections for businesses is up for debate. The bipartisan working group proposed it separately since there wasn't a consensus on those issues among the group.

Each bill would require President Trump's signature to become law.

The total national debt is $27.5 trillion and climbing to $28 trillion. In September, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit would hit a record $3.3 trillion this year and the national debt will exceed the size of the entire U.S. economy in 2021. 


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