WASHINGTON – Republican leaders said Wednesday they would oppose another economic stimulus package suggested by economists at a meeting with Democratic lawmakers.
Representative John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell, the top Republicans in the House and the Senate, said they strongly opposed the massive spending that the Democratic-controlled Congress has approved so far this year.
"Most of my constituents are wondering how long the spending binge is going to go on here in Washington," Boehner, the House Minority Leader, told reporters.
"And all we have to do is look at the budget being proposed by President (Barack) Obama, and it's clear that it spends too much, it borrows too much, and it taxes too much," he said.
The idea of another stimulus package emerged from a meeting Tuesday of Democratic leaders with several economists, who warned that the job-generating punch of the administration's 787 billion dollar stimulus package has been weaker than expected.
"I think another stimulus package is a reasonable probability the way things are going," Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody's Economy.com, told reporters after the meeting. "I think policy makers need to do more. We're not done yet."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also suggested another round of spending might be needed, telling reporters, "We have to keep the door open to see how this goes."
Aides to the speaker said there were no plans for a second stimulus package.
But the Republicans attacked the rising levels of spending anyway.
"We're spending the first 50 days of this new administration at the rate of one billion dollars an hour," said McConnell.
"At the rate we're going, we're going to double the national debt in five years and triple it in 10 years," he said. "I don't think anybody seriously thinks that that's a good idea."
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