WASHINGTON, D.C.–The price of doing nothing, and not passing another coronavirus relief bill, could be way more costly than the possible price tag of what has been proposed so far, said Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.). He said people who are fiscally conservative should be looking at those long-term costs.
“Fiscally conservative people need to contemplate the cost of doing nothing,” said Young, by phone from DC. “What is the cost of the barber shop from down the road going out of business? Well, a number of barbers and the owner will be on public assistance. What is the cost of an entire manufacturing operation going out of business? Well, it’s long-term unemployment. It’s disability insurance. It’s food stamps.”
LISTEN: Sen. Todd Young talks coronavirus relief negotiations
One of the hang-ups in negotiations is the price of the bill, which is a problem for Young’s fellow senator and fellow Republican, Mike Braun.
“I know this is a difficult thing for conservatives to ask themselves, but are you truly a conservative if you support voting no on something that will keep somebody off public assistance?” asked Young. “We don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish. We need to make the necessary investments now, whatever the sticker price may seem to be.”
Young prioritized what Republicans want in the bill. He said first is liability protections for businesses, so they can’t be sued easily if people get coronavirus by working or shopping there. He said making sure schools can make it safe for kids to go back to school is next.
The third point is helping hardest-hit businesses. Young said his RESTART Act will help with that. He said half of the Senate have signed on as co-sponsors.
“That will provide long-term working capital loans to help out our restaurants and our boutiques, manufacturing operations, these businesses that have to survive the pandemic because they are engines of our economy.”
Young said the Act is part of some fierce negotiations in which both Ds and Rs are playing hardball.
“I do believe that (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi has calculated that she will benefit from the chaos that might emerge if we don’t end up passing a bill,” he said, “then she’ll end up pushing through her Green New Deal, higher taxes, significantly higher spending.”
Young said he believes the president’s threat to take executive action to push out some sort of relief action, is a way to put pressure on both sides.
“He wants to apply pressure to both sides, that is the administration and the treasury secretary on one side and Nancy Pelosi on the other, to come to terms and find a deal, and I agree with the president.”
Young said he believes whatever bill may come out of the negotiations would contain more “stimulus ” payments for people.