Heritage Expert: Prioritize Urgent Coronavirus Spending Within Budget

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Heritage Expert: Prioritize Urgent Coronavirus Spending Within Budget

Mar 4, 2020 1 min read

WASHINGTON – This week Congress will vote on an $8.3 billion coronavirus funding package - $7.8 billion designated as emergency spending and $490 million in new Medicare spending for telehealth services. Heritage Foundation director of the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, Romina Boccia said the following:

The federal government’s first priority should be to provide the resources needed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus – not to play politics with emergency funds. The use of supplemental appropriations to fight the outbreak of an infectious disease is appropriate within the definition of emergency spending. However, this supplemental adds more than a billion for foreign aid programs, adds subsidies for private business that fall outside the role of the federal government, circumvents important budget rules, and fails to pay for any of the additional coronavirus funding.

Just as the typical American family must make tough decisions when faced with an unexpected expense, so too should lawmakers. Congress could easily find money to offset coronavirus spending within the projected $4.7 trillion budget for fiscal year 2020. Adding to deficits is unnecessary and irresponsible.

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