As pressure mounts for legislators to pass another round of coronavirus relief before the November 3 election, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says that they are no closer to reaching a middle ground.
The director of the National Economic Council told reporters on September 25 that there are “conversations” happening on Capitol Hill, but not a lot of progress.
“The best thing I can say to you,” he said. “Is there’s a lot of conversations, which is good, but there is no agreement yet.”
“I’d like to say we are making great progress, but I can’t yet,” Kudlow later added. “I can’t get ahead of that curve, it’s not happening.”
The economic adviser expressed that, while he can’t offer specifics surrounding potential measures, President Donald Trump’s Administrations is looking for “targeted assistance plans.”
Kudlow said the White House hopes to funnel extra aid toward K-12 education, including equipment for testing and infrastructure needs, as well as an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program.
He reiterated that there is an extra $130 billion “sloshing around” from the first round of the Small Business Administration loans that can be “repurposed.”
Trump is also in favor of another round of direct stimulus checks, Kudlow added.
The House is scheduled to adjourn on October 2, allowing representatives to go back to their districts and campaign, while the Senate is scheduled to go on a break after October 9, according to Value Walk.
Here’s what you need to know:
‘We Don’t Want to See’ a ‘$3 Trillion or $2.5 Trillion’ Package, Kudlow Says
During the White House briefing, Kudlow doubled down on the Administration’s desire to pass a stimulus package well-below the $2.5 million threshold.
“We don’t want to see $3 trillion or $2.5 trillion,” he told reporters.
On September 24, House Democrats began drafting a $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package, including additional extended federal unemployment benefits, another round of stimulus checks and funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, Politico reported.
Kudlow assured that there the government will not be shutdown as legislators continue to work toward a stimulus agreement, indicating that a Continuing Resolution bill “will be passed hopefully in the Senate on Wednesday.”
Kudlow Says ‘Massive’ Stimulus Package Not Necessary for Recovery; Uptick in Cali Unemployment Claims are Fraudulent
Echoing previous sentiments from last week, Kudlow once again stated that a “massive” stimulus package is not necessary for the economy’s “v-shaped recovery.”
“I don’t buy into it,” he reiterated during his most recent briefing, referring to another stimulus bill.
Kudlow then added that the unemployment numbers are showing a downward trend, despite a recent uptick in California — to which he accused of being fraudulent.
“The trend line is is down unmistakably,” he stated. “There is a lot of fraud in those numbers coming out of California — by their own labor department people.”
Growing concern about “possible widespread fraud” in California’s unemployment system has been making headlines over the past few weeks, according to NBC Bay Area.
The California Employment Development Department has paid $76.9 billion in unemployment benefits so far, the station continued, with “numerous reports of people receiving unsolicited letters, some with debit cards, from the state’s jobless agency, and a suspicious number of claims involving independent contractors.”