Less than 24 hours after the president signed the multi-billion dollar Family First Coronavirus Response Act, talk at the White House and on Capitol Hill is now focusing on the next major piece of virus relief legislation.
This comes as Bank of America forecast a 12% shrinkage of the economy in the second quarter and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to contract by .8%.
Sources who spoke to Newsmax were unanimous in their view the measure will have a price tag of at least $1 trillion — almost equal to the price of the current federal deficit.
At least half the package is expected to be in the form of cash payments to American taxpayers. Specifically (so far), this means a $1,000 check for every American who has a job and perhaps an even larger check for children.
Negotiations are currently ongoing in the Senate. The final package is expected to be held up because Democrats led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, N.Y., are calling for rebuilding of the nation’s public health system on a par with that of rebuilding Europe after World War II.
“Right now, we need to rebuild public health capacity on our continent,” Schumer tweeted Wednesday morning. “America needs a Marshall Plan for public health infrastructure to help our hospitals and doctors and nurses on a massive scale.”
It goes without saying Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, the White House’s point-man on the relief legislation, does not share will Schumer’s vision.
The Senate, which passed the Family First measure by a vote of 90-8, is expected to work out a final version of the trillion dollar package by the beginning of next week. The House is now out of session, with a return likely next week.
Conservatives in Congress, for the most part, are going along with the emergency measures with little objection. One outside Congress who voiced objection to Newsmax was Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
“Throwing other people’s money out the door is what happens when politicians face an electorate demanding they ‘do something,'” he told us. “And Nancy Pelosi has a veto over the final legislation.”
Norquist added, the good news is “tax-rate cuts, deregulation, and a Supreme Court that has read most of the Constitution from time to time has given us an underlying strong economy. The market will come back and jobs will return — unless the Democrats win in November.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.