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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Fox News Wednesday that he opposes Congress passing more stimulus funding because "if you give people money and you make it less painful to be in a recession," governors "will not have an incentive" to reopen the economy.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked over the next coronavirus stimulus package. The Trump administration has said it is willing to pass a bill at a lower price tag than House Democrats' $3 trillion proposal, but some Republicans — like Paul and other deficit hawks — have said there is no need.

What he's saying: "The money will be borrowed or the money will be printed. Both of them have ramifications. If we do another trillion, we will be in about $5 trillion for one year. We have never, ever in the history of the United States borrowed so much so rapidly. And I fear the consequences," Paul said.

  • "If you give people money and you make it less painful to be in a recession, we can stay in a recession longer. The recession is created by the government. The government shut the economy."
  • "So all of these governors, Democrat and Republican, will not have an incentive to open the economy if you soften the amount of suffering that they have created."
  • "What we need to be doing is every day broadcasting that your governors are causing the unemployment."

Between the lines: Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has repeatedly emphasized that the fate of the economy is inextricably linked to the course of the virus.

  • There is no trade-off between the economy and the pandemic, Powell and other economists argue, and economic recovery is all but impossible if the virus isn't contained.

Go deeper: Paul says Republicans should apologize to Obama for complaining about spending

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Nov 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Government gridlock would be the worst-case economic scenario

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Economically, the outcome of the election could not be worse than where we seem to be headed: A Biden presidency with a Republican Senate.

Why it matters: "Gridlock" — where the president's party doesn't control both houses of Congress — is being cheered by financial markets wary of political overreach. Stocks are not the economy, however. In the depths of a global pandemic, fiscal boldness is exactly what's needed for the economy as a whole. The problem is that political obstructionism is all but certain.

Unemployment plunges as the pandemic continues

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

Here's the good news for workers: The unemployment rate fell by a full percentage point to 6.9% last month — in the face of rising coronavirus cases, continued pressure on businesses, and no economic relief in sight from the government.

The bad news: That rapid snapback in employment after initial economic lockdowns eased is over. Job growth has slowed every month since June.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.