With the U.S. already facing record deficits, Democratic leaders in Congress are pushing for millions more in new spending before the Memorial Day recess. In the meantime, some Republicans have warned that America could end up like Greece.
Midterm elections are still six months away. But what happens over the next three weeks on Capitol Hill could have a major impact in November.
With many Americans already outraged over government spending, Democratic leaders reportedly plan to push for new measures before Memorial Day that would cost taxpayers more than $200 billion. The money would be spent on, among other things:
- Medicare doctor payments
- An extension of unemployment benefits
- An Afghan war supplemental bill.
And the cost of the health care reform bill is already heading higher. Congressional budget experts said Tuesday that the new law could add at least $115 billion more to health care spending over the next ten years.
Earlier estimates by the Congressional Budget Office did not include the additional spending. Critics said the cost of the health care bill could easily go higher.
With government spending on the rise, some Republicans such as Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., have warned that the growing expenses could leave America in a similar predicament to Greece, where nearly a $1 trillion bailout was needed to fend off a fiscal disaster, at least for now.
"This will be sufficient to meet all of Greece's rollover needs and therefore should provide support for it in the market," said Carol Atkinson of the International Monetary Fund.
That remains to be seen, and Gregg believes the U.S. could face a crisis similar to Greece within the next seven to ten years.