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Economists like House-passed aid, say more needed

The coronavirus relief bill passed by the House Friday would provide aid to infected Americans, hourly workers and those who lose jobs because of the outbreak but it likely wouldn’t keep the broader economy from slipping into recession, economists say.

“If we all do social distancing, that’s going to hurt everybody,” says Jay Shambaugh, director of the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, which seeks to promote prosperity for Americans. “At a certain point, things spill into the economy.”

Eventually, he says, “I think they’re going to need to do a broad stimulus” that provides spending money to millions of Americans.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics agrees. “I don’t think this comes close to forestalling a recession,” he says

The legislation passed Friday expands paid sick leave and medical leave, bolsters food stamps and unemployment insurance, and provides more federal funding for Medicaid. It also requires free coronavirus testing.

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