- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said stimulus talks appear to be at a standstill
- Larry Kudlow says talks are not dead
- Kudlow insisted the U.S. is in a V-shaped recovery but certain sectors still need help
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says he expects Republicans to fall in line if the White House reaches agreement with Democrats on the next round of coronavirus stimulus relief.
Negotiations appeared at a standstill after President Donald Trump agreed to boost the size of the package to $1.8 trillion – a move rejected by Democrats who called it inadequate and Republicans who said it was too expensive.
Kudlow told CNN’s “State of the Union” he talked with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Saturday night and is convinced stimulus talks are not dead, noting Senate Republicans unanimously passed their own version of coronavirus relief – albeit a modest $500 billion measure – and “they will go along with it” once a deal is struck between Democrats and the White House.
House Democrats earlier passed a $2.2 trillion package, a slimmed down version of the more than $3 trillion measure they approved in May.
“We’re asking for targeted assistance,” said Kudlow, ticking off a list: enhanced unemployment benefits, aid to small businesses and direct stimulus checks to individuals.
“Those are things everybody absolutely wants,” Kudlow said.
Among the sticking points is the size of enhanced unemployment benefits. Democrats wants Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic to receive an extra $600 a week – the same amount that was approved as part of the CARES Act in March – while the White House has supported $400 a week.
Democrats also want funds for cash-strapped state and local governments, which bore the brunt of coronavirus costs, help for schools for COVID-19 testing and cleaning, and funds for the postal service to ensure smooth operations through the election.
“I don’t understand the intransigence from my Democratic friends,” Kudlow said, insisting the U.S. is in the midst of a V-shaped recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession.
In a note to her caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday President Donald Trump still is not taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously, offering just $45 billion in new money for meeting health needs, “about 60% of what is needed, according to medical experts. More importantly, it is not spent strategically.”
She also noted there still is no national plan for testing, tracing and treatment.
“It is hard to understand who is shaping their approach, which to date has been a miserable and deadly failure,” Pelosi said.
“Until these serious issues are resolved, we remain at an impasse.”