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House Democrats Seek to Boost Federal Spending by $250 Billion

The funds are being sought to offset COVID-19 effects

House Democrats are seeking to boost federal spending by about $250 billion for fiscal 2021 to address the economic emergency caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, a move that would circumvent a budget deal reached last year with congressional Republicans and the administration.

Democratic appropriations bills introduced this week would bring discretionary spending to more than $1.6 trillion for 2021, a 16 percent increase of current levels. The bills would boost spending on a range of priorities, including transportation infrastructure, veterans’ programs and public health.

“The need for emergency funding to address COVID-19, which has claimed more than 125,000 American lives and 500,000 worldwide, cannot be overstated,” said House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY). “Higher allocations for all 12 subcommittees in fiscal year 2021 will allow us to make historic investments in the VA, support working families, rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and expand opportunities for the people.”

House Republicans have countered that Congress has already allocated $3 trillion in emergency spending to boost the economy and assist those in need during the pandemic, and that violating the budget deal negotiated last year will complicate negotiations with the Republican-controlled Senate.

“While these bills fund priorities of Members on both sides of the aisle, Committee Democrats have chosen to turn these annual appropriations bills into partisan messaging measures filled with policy provisions and emergency spending unacceptable to Republicans,” said Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX).

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