Rep. Andy Biggs: The last COVID-19 stimulus package should’ve ‘absolutely’ been the final one
"You're talking, seriously, a structural deficit this year that's going to be 5, 6, 7 trillion dollars," said the Arizona Republican. "That's something we never would have thought or dreamed of just six months ago."
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Rep. Andy Biggs, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told Just the News that he "absolutely" thinks Congress should not pass another coronavirus stimulus package.
In March, Congress passed the third stimulus package, the CARES Act, which totaled about $2.2 trillion, not including the Federal Reserve actions it authorized. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the next stimulus package the Senate passes should be the final one, but Biggs disagreed.
"I think the last stimulus package should be the last one. I mean, and you still have over a trillion dollars that has never been allocated from that bill. Why would you begin spending another trillion or two or three? You're seeing a generational theft, like we never would have expected before," Biggs said during a video interview at the Falkirk Center's Freedom Summit.
"You're talking, seriously, a structural deficit this year that's going to be 5, 6, 7 trillion dollars,” the Arizona Republican added. "That's something we never would have thought or dreamed of just six months ago."
The Senate GOP proposed reducing the $600 weekly federal jobless benefit to 70% of wages lost up to $500. Biggs suggested ending the federal benefit, which is added on top of the state benefits.
"You shouldn't be giving really anything — their state benefit is already in place. The second thing you need to do is, I think, a payroll tax holiday would actually be very stimulative. That's what economists tell me," he said.
"The payroll deduction tax holiday, what that would do is that would give everybody almost a 7%-8% pay raise," he explained. "Immediately. That's incentivizing. Right now we've disincentivized. I guess the next thing you do is, is you try to find a way to get this economy open again, because as it opens up, that's when you see the economy take off, and people can get out and they can work and get jobs."
Biggs took issue with the $105 billion the Senate GOP plan directs to public schools.
"They want to give $105 billion in this bill," he said. "They haven't even spent the $13 billion they gave in the last CARES Act, and this money is not allocated in the bill, per se. And it doesn't look accountable either. Those are problems for us. And we just really have to be very careful going forward."
Biggs was asked if he thinks a payroll tax cut would hurt Social Security or Medicare in the long run. "No, I don't," he replied. "I think it is such a small blip compared to the overall Social Security Medicare program, especially if you're doing it through, say, the end of the year. I think it's relatively, almost, statistically insignificant. I won't say it's completely insignificant, but it is really on a contextualized basis, very small."
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