The New York Times reports that congressional Republicans have invented yet another reason to oppose the latest coronavirus relief bill. They’ve now decided that the Fed has too much power to help out future presidents:
The proposal, fiercely opposed by Democrats who argue it would revoke a crucial tool to stabilize the sputtering economy, emerged as perhaps the thorniest point of contention among a handful of remaining issues holding up an agreement. It could strike at the heart of the Fed’s role as a “lender of last resort,” and curtail President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s latitude in dealing with the continuing economic fallout from the pandemic.
….A senior Democratic aide said that an agreement had been in sight before Senator Patrick Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, moved to insert a measure to bar a future Treasury secretary from restarting Fed emergency loan programs. The programs have kept credit flowing to medium-sized businesses, state and local governments and corporations amid the pandemic. Concern centered on the broadness of Mr. Toomey’s proposal: It would prohibit both those programs and “similar” ones in the future, which could severely curb the Fed’s crisis-fighting power.
It’s no coincidence that this last-minute concern comes just four weeks before a Democrat will be entering the White House. After all, what’s the point of sabotaging the economy when a Democrat is president if the Fed is just going to bail him out? This needs to be taken care of pronto, my friends.