Senator Young: Lawmakers need to get a relief deal done

(Photo supplied/U.S. Sen. Todd Young)

Indiana Senator Todd Young says Republicans shouldn’t let the price tag on a pandemic relief bill get in the way of a deal.

Indiana’s other senator, Mike Braun, has said Republicans’ trillion-dollar proposal is too pricey, and some Senate Republicans are opposed to any new spending. Young says the pandemic’s a national emergency, and there shouldn’t be an “arbitrary” limit on spending. He says the most fiscally irresponsible thing Congress could do would be to let businesses go under and put their workers on unemployment. He says Congress shouldn’t shy away from spending that makes schools safe to open or supports public health.

But Young says House Democrats’ three-and-a-half-trillion-dollar package, which includes money for the National Endowment for the Arts and mail-in voting, is an unserious proposal. He accuses Democratic leaders of refusing to compromise. He charges too much of the three-and-a-half-trillion dollars passed by the House isn’t focused on true emergency needs.

Young is critical of Democrats’ call for assistance to states whose bottom line has been battered by the pandemic. He argues that money would reward states who were swimming in red ink even before the pandemic. But he says that dispute is one he’d be willing to swallow if it’s standing in the way of getting a bill passed.

In a 35-minute Q-and-A session with Indiana reporters, Young didn’t comment directly on the specifics of President Trump’s weekend executive orders suspending the Social Security payroll tax and partially restoring an expired add-on to unemployment benefits. But he says Trump is “pulling out all the stops” available to him to deliver at least some relief until Congress can break its impasse.

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