December 26, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R) is at odds with President Trump again — this time over COVID relief payments.
On Monday, lawmakers came together on a COVID relief bill after months of negotiations. The final deal offered $600 stimulus payments to most Americans while setting aside billions of dollars for foreign countries and expensive pet project that had nothing to do with mitigating the impact of COVID-19.
President Trump hinted at vetoing the deal and called on congress to cut the wasteful spending ventures while increasing the amount in direct payments to American to $2,000 per person.
But according to KUTV, Mitt Romney said he opposes raising the amount to $2,000.
“If we went to $2,000 per person, the additional borrowing would be up to almost $500 billion,“ Romney said during a virtual meeting sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. “Someone’s got to pay for that. We can’t just have free money.”
“Someone’s got to pay for that. We can’t just have free money.”
If “free money” was truly Romney’s concern, why didn’t object to the massively ridiculous spending in the deal, which included millions for Swamp projects, like $10 million for “gender programs” in Pakistan? Instead, Romney voted for the “America Last” boondoggle, which included $135 million fo Burma, $85 million for Cambodia, $130 million for Nepal, $700 million directed towards Sudan, and a cool $33 million for Venezuela. Only now that President Trump is pushing to raise the amount of direct payments to Americans has Romney suddenly become a budget hawk.
If Mitt Romney drew a principled line in the sand like Rand Paul, who believes stimulus spending is not the solution to the economic impact of COVID, Romney would have more creditable for taking a hard line against increasing stimulus payments to Americans. Instead, it appears Romney’s sudden fiscal restraint position is more about opposing President Trump than about reducing the national debt.