“This is not like the financial meltdown, where you had banks that made bad decisions and asked the government to bail them out,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “We are basically telling people not to go out, not to spend money at these stores, and in some jurisdictions, not go to work. … It’s an unprecedented challenge.”
Republicans are eager to make that argument as they embark on a wide-ranging rescue mission and fend off charges that they’re ditching their free-market principles. Senior administration officials have been careful not to refer to President Donald Trump’s plan as a “bailout” — a tacit acknowledgement that the proposal could spark a revolt while being politically toxic for the GOP down the road. Some outside conservative groups are already urging lawmakers on Capitol Hill to reject direct aid for industries.
But at least for now, Republicans are mostly brushing aside long-held cost concerns in order to salvage the economy — and perhaps Trump’s reelection, as well as their own.