Debt-Funded Restaurant Relief is Unwarranted

The House of Representatives today passed a $55 billion relief package aimed towards restaurants and other small businesses, including $42 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and $13 billion for other businesses. The bill has not yet been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), though the bill appears to be mostly deficit-financed. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

The inflation rate is 8 percent, and Washington still can’t kick its addiction to deficit spending. Yesterday the President extended a regressive and costly student debt pause and today the House votes to send another $55 billion to restaurants and businesses without many real offsets or so much as a CBO score.

The government has already authorized over $6 trillion of COVID relief. With inflation surging, debt near record highs, and unemployment at pre-pandemic levels, now is not the time for more. Instead, we should be lowering deficits to help the Federal Reserve get inflation back under control.

Any new spending should be focused on addressing the pandemic itself, and should be fully offset so as not to increase deficits or worsen inflation.

It’s past time for the era of debt-financing to come to an end.


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