The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act,) was a stimulus bill that put $2 trillion on Uncle Sam’s credit card. In response to the economic effects of shutting down the country, CARES passed swiftly in both chambers of Congress. But now, lawmakers are calling for another economic stimulus package, as states rollback reopening their economy and fear another Coronavirus wave will come this fall. While President Trump has promised Americans the economy won’t shut down again, small businesses and other industries have been dramatically impacted by the uncertainty of the state’s choosing to shut down, so Congress is considering spending even more money to make up for the continued losses.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in particular, is responding to pressure from teachers unions to pass federal funding for education. In an interview with MSNBC, Pelosi said, “we shouldn’t even be thinking about reopening schools without federal aid.” In the interview, she argued that schools need the resources in order to open in a safe way.
These statements come almost a week after President Trump called on educational systems to open in the fall. He has been very adamant that if schools choose to not reopen, he will cut federal funding. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany reiterated that the president wants to fund students, not schools, and that teachers and schools are under the category or essential workers and essential services. Even Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told The Hill, “Having the schools actually closed is a great public health threat to the children than having the school reopen.”
Trump first received backlash about his insistence to reopen schools, but it seems like Pelosi wants to see the money first. It is unclear whether President Trump will pass funding without assurance schools will definitely reopen. And most likely, if Congress does pass another stimulus bill, he will want this language clear.