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At Least $1 Trillion Is Needed to Avert U.S. Disaster, Economists Say

A too-small stimulus could jeopardize the nascent recovery.

The U.S. economy could plunge off a fiscal cliff unless Congress approves a new rescue package.

The U.S. economy could plunge off a fiscal cliff unless Congress approves a new rescue package.

Photo Illustration: 731; Photos: Gunther/MPTV Images (Evel Knievel); Getty Images (cliff)
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A crisis can stretch for weeks, months, even years, but its arc can be shaped by a few crucial moments in which political leaders choose a course of action. For a U.S. economy still reeling from the devastation of the novel coronavirus, one such moment is approaching.

Economists are warning the nation is in danger of careening off a fiscal cliff unless Congress approves a rescue package to succeed the $2 trillion Cares Act. Key elements of that are set to expire this month, just as a resurgence of the virus in states that rushed to reopen their economies is making the nascent recovery look decidedly vulnerable. The Trump administration is calling on Republicans and Democrats to get legislation passed before the start of the summer recess in August.