Although both sides of the aisle recently denounced the White House’s $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief proposal, President Donald Trump‘s economic adviser expressed hope that a deal could still be reached.
On October 11, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said on CNN’s State of the Union that there is still potential for a second stimulus package, despite opposition from GOP Senators surrounding the administration’s latest efforts.
“No I don’t think it’s dead at all,” he told host Jake Tapper. “I think if an agreement can be reached, they will go along with it.”
Republicans a day earlier denounced the economic relief proposal, claiming its overall price tag was too high, The Washington Post reported. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed for more funding for unemployment insurance, state and local aid, child care and other Democratic priorities, the newspaper continued.
The next relief bill’s total cost has been a major sticking point between negotiators, with several failed attempts to pass Democrats’ $2.2 trillion revised HEROES Act, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s $1.6 trillion counterproposal and Senate Republicans’ earlier “skinny bill.”
Kudlow blasted his “Democratic friends” to Tapper for their failure to consider smaller relief bills, highlighting Trump’s efforts to pass targeted assistance for the Paycheck Protection Program, schools, extended unemployment benefits and second stimulus checks.
“These are simple things that have bipartisan support,” he said. “We can do it as standalone bills … or whatever — but I don’t understand the intransigence from my Democratic friends.”
The economic adviser previously indicated on CNBC that the legislative window to pass a “gigantic” stimulus package before Election Day is dwindling fast, as the White House is turning its attention to filling the Supreme Court vacancy instead.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Handful of Senate Republicans Described the Administration’s $1.8 Proposal as a Betrayal
A handful of Republican senators pushed back on the administration’s $1.8 trillion stimulus proposal, including John Barrasso of Wyoming and Mike Lee, of Utah, according to The Washington Post. Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn condemned the bill as the “death knell” of the GOP majority, the newspaper continued.
“The opposition was so fierce that Meadows told the group at one point, ‘You all will have to come to my funeral’ because he would have to take their message back to President Trump,” The Washington Post wrote.
During Kudlow’s CNN appearance, Tapper pressed the economic adviser for a response on the GOP’s harsh opposition.
When asked if the White House would pass a bill that did not have a majority of Senate Republicans’ support but did from the House and “10 to 20 Republicans in the Senate,” Kudlow circled back to Trump’s calls for targeted assistance.
“I will say, from the president’s remarks last week, he’s happy on the key targeted areas that I mentioned,” Kudlow said. “He would actually go beyond what some of the Democratic numbers are — he may not do it for the entire package, but for those key targeted areas.”
Kudlow then again placed the burden of progress for the proceeding on Democrats.
“If we could get this thing settled on the Democrats’ side, we will get it settled on the Republicans side,” he said. “The Ds are holding this thing up.”
Top Trump Officials Echoed Kudlow’s Sentiments
Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows echoed Kudlow’s sentiments on October 11 in a joint statement addressed to House and Senate members.
The Trump officials called for repurposing leftover Paycheck Protection Program funds for targeted assistance, including funds for schools, airlines and extended federal unemployment benefits.
They, too, blamed House Democrats for the stalled stimulus talks, citing their unwillingness to negotiate smaller relief bills and the “many different White House proposals.”
“The all-or-nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people,” Mnuchin and Meadows said.
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