President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggested that a deal on another round of economic stimulus was still possible, despite opposition from Senate Republicans and criticism from House Democrats on the most recent White House proposal.
Negotiations between Senate Republicans, House Democrats and the White House have been at an impasse since summer, with some progress in talks between the Trump administration and Democrats over the past couple weeks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is leading the negotiations for the White House, put forward a $1.8 trillion compromise counteroffer on Friday—up from the $1 trillion originally offered but significantly less than the more than $3 trillion Democrats approved in May. Many Senate Republicans quickly balked at the high price tag, however, as the deficit has ballooned significantly over 2020.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says he doesnât think the stimulus deal is dead, despite President Trumpâs $1.8 trillion proposal facing opposition from Senate GOP. âI think if an agreement can be reached, they will go along with itâ https://t.co/Viunv4eaxp #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/RNV1O8GzSr
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 11, 2020
“I don’t think it’s dead at all,” Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, insisted during a Sunday morning interview with CNN’s State of the Union. “I spoke to Secretary Mnuchin last evening—look don’t forget, Republicans in the Senate put up their own bill a few weeks ago and got 53 votes, I think it was,” he said. “So they united. I think if an agreement can be reached, they will go along with it.”
Although significant disagreements over funding priorities remain, all sides support sending additional $1,200 direct stimulus payments to the majority of Americans. The White House and Democratic proposals also include additional funding for the paycheck protection program (PPP), which provides forgivable loans to businesses to keep employees on payroll. They also both agree on providing an additional amount of weekly federal unemployment insurance—although they differ on how much money to provide.
Video: Problem Solvers Caucus leaders push for coronavirus stimulus deal (FOX News)
Despite significant compromises from the White House, Democrats and Republicans have both cast doubt on their willingness to support the current deal.
“At this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities, and Democrats are awaiting language from the Administration on several provisions as the negotiations on the overall funding amount continue,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, wrote to Democratic colleagues on Saturday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, has cast doubt on the negotiations materializing in a successful deal in the near term.
“I think it’s unlikely in the next three weeks,” McConnell said on Friday.
Newsweek reached out to McConnell’s press representative for further comment, but he did not immediately respond.
Trump’s own position on the negotiations has been erratic over the past week. On Tuesday, Trump announced on Twitter that he had shut down negotiations and would not move forward with a stimulus deal until after the election. However, he later backtracked and then called the discussions “very productive” on Thursday.
Meanwhile, some prominent Democrats have urged Pelosi and House Democrats to take the deal with White House, as millions of Americans remain unemployed and are struggling financially.
“Nancy Pelosi take this deal! Put politics aside people are hurting,” former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang tweeted on Saturday.