floats

White House Floats $1.8 Trillion Stimulus Offer in Last-Ditch Effort: Live Updates

Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

The White House, seeking to revive stimulus talks that President Trump called off just days ago, planned on Friday to put forward its largest offer for economic relief yet, as some Republicans worried about being blamed by voters for failing to deliver needed aid ahead of the election.

The new proposal, for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to present to congressional Democrats, would increase the White House’s plan for coronavirus stimulus to $1.8 trillion.

The president “would like to do a deal,” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said on the Fox Business Network on Friday, in the latest head-snapping turn in the on-again-off-again negotiations. The overall price tag of the offer was confirmed by two people familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose details of the talks.

Fanning the sense of optimism, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter: “Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!”

The prospects of a compromise remained remote, however, given the opposition of many Republicans to another large infusion of federal virus aid. Speaking to reporters in Kentucky, Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, cast doubt on the chances of a deal, saying political divisions remained too deep less than a month before Election Day.

“The situation is kind of murky and I think the murkiness is a result of the proximity to the election and everybody kind of trying to elbow for political advantage,” Mr. McConnell said. “I’d like to see us rise above that like we did back in March and April, but I think that’s unlikely in the next three weeks.”

Yet the White House was working

POLITICO Playbook PM: White House floats a Trump speech as the outbreak spreads

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is considering having President DONALD TRUMP address the nation. He returned from the White House on Monday night after a weekend at Walter Reed. NYT’s Maggie Haberman had this as well

ALYSSA FARAH — the White House comms director — suggested to White House reporters that we will “hear from” TRUMP “at some point today.”

— FARAH on FOX NEWS this morning, about whether TRUMP will attend the next debate: “He’s looking forward to it. He is ready and I think he’s going to go in with an even new mindset on the coronavirus. He’s firsthand lost friends to this, he’s grieved with Americans, but now he himself is coming as a survivor and I think you’re going to hear that in his debate.”

— ON WORKING AT THE W.H. NOW: “We feel comfortable working here, those of us who are still here. We are taking precautions in the West Wing.”

THE PRESIDENT’S DOCTOR, SEAN CONLEY, said TRUMP reported no symptoms today, and had a “restful first night at home.” His oxygen saturation is between 95% and 97%, CONLEY said. Conley’s memo

FORMER A.G. ERIC HOLDER to us during a Playbook virtual event this morning, via CAITLIN OPRYSKO: “Former Attorney General Eric Holder accused one of his Trump-era successors, William Barr, of ‘going beyond politicizing’ the Justice Department, saying that the current attorney general had instead ‘weaponized’ the department in an unprecedented way.

“‘The way he has talked about everything from voting to social issues, he has clearly put the Justice Department on the side of this president,’ Holder told POLITICO Playbook authors Anna Palmer and