Sen. Rand Paul, one of the most outspoken Republicans on the subject of government spending, asked on Twitter on Sunday if Congress’ borrowing is putting the US economy on the same track as Venezuela’s.
“New 1,000,000 bolivar note in Venezuela worth 53 cents,” Paul tweeted, while linking to a Bloomberg report on hyperinflation in Caracas. “Will US be the next Venezuela with Congress borrowing over $6 trillion in one year?”
Paul’s remarks came just one day after the Senate voted 50-49 to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, also expressed displeasure with some of the bill’s wasteful spending, such as providing billions in financial aid to states that do not require it.
“We’re going to be asking the American people to allow us to borrow money from China and others, pass that on to our kids and grandkids so that we can send money to states like California and mine that don’t need the money,” Romney said. “That doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Senate Democrats pushed the bill through to a debate on March 4 with the help of Vice President Kamala Harris to break the 50-50 tie. On March 6, the Senate passed the $1.9 trillion relief plan in a party-line vote. Republicans tried to add around three dozen amendments, albeit unsuccessfully.
According to Reuters, Venezuela’s economy has deteriorated as a result of high oil prices, the coronavirus, and years of hyperinflation. Its central bank issued a new 1 million bolivar banknote with a value of 52 cents. According to the report, many Venezuelans conduct business in US dollars.