White House, Democrats Both Support Coronavirus Stimulus Checks, Kudlow Expects Republicans To Fall In Line

KEY POINTS

  • 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.”

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Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows says he ‘fully’ expects staffers to get COVID

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday that he “fully” expects other top aides to the president to test positive for the coronavirus after Trump and the first lady’s diagnoses. 
  • Meadows told reporters during an informal briefing on Friday morning that “all of our core staff” have been tested recently and said he has a “mitigation plan” in case others are infected. 
  • “I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” Meadows said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday morning that he “fully” expects other top aides to the president to test positive for the coronavirus after the president and first lady’s diagnoses. 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania announced early Friday morning that they had both tested positive for COVID-19. The president’s close aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus on Thursday morning after developing symptoms Wednesday evening. 

Meadows told reporters during an informal briefing on Friday morning that “all of our core staff” have been tested recently.

“I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” Meadows said. “We’ve got the mitigation plan in place to make sure that the government not only continues to move forward, but the work of the American people continues to go forward.” 

Meadows also confirmed that the White House knew Trump’s top aide Hope Hicks, who has regular contact with the president, was infected with COVID-19 before Trump attended a fundraising event in New Jersey on Thursday, during which he came in close contact with dozens of people. 

“I’m not going to get into the tick tock. I can tell you, in terms of Hope Hicks, we discovered that right as the Marine One was taking off yesterday,” Meadows told reporters. “We actually pulled some of the people that have been traveling and in close contact. The reason why it was reported out, just frankly, is that we had already started to contact tracing just prior to that event.” 

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, both tested negative for the virus on Friday. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Trump has consistently played down the severity of the virus, pushed states to violate public health guidelines by quickly reopening, and dismissed those who take recommended mitigation measures. 

During Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for regularly wearing a face mask. 

“When needed, I wear a mask,” Trump said. “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him he wears a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away. He shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

Biden tested negative for the virus on Friday morning.

 

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Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows says he ‘fully’ expects other White House staffers to get coronavirus



Mark Meadows wearing a suit and tie: Doug Mills/Getty Images


© Doug Mills/Getty Images
Doug Mills/Getty Images

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday that he “fully” expects other top aides to the president to test positive for the coronavirus after Trump and the first lady’s diagnoses. 
  • Meadows told reporters during an informal briefing on Friday morning that “all of our core staff” have been tested recently and said he has a “mitigation plan” in case others are infected. 
  • “I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” Meadows said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday morning that he “fully” expects other top aides to the president to test positive for the coronavirus after the president and first lady’s diagnoses. 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania announced early Friday morning that they had both tested positive for COVID-19. The president’s close aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus on Thursday morning after developing symptoms Wednesday evening. 

Meadows told reporters during an informal briefing on Friday morning that “all of our core staff” have been tested recently.

“I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result,” Meadows said. “We’ve got the mitigation plan in place to make sure that the government not only continues to move forward, but the work of the American people continues to go forward.” 

Meadows also confirmed that the White House knew Trump’s top aide Hope Hicks, who has regular contact with the president, was infected with COVID-19 before Trump attended a fundraising event in New Jersey on Thursday, during which he came in close contact with dozens of people. 

Video: Biden slams Trump for putting pressure and disagreeing with his own scientists on Covid-19 vaccine timeline (CNBC)

Biden slams Trump for putting pressure and disagreeing with his own scientists on Covid-19 vaccine timeline

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“I’m not going to get into the tick tock. I can tell you, in terms of Hope Hicks, we discovered that right as the Marine One was taking off yesterday,” Meadows told reporters. “We actually pulled some of the people that have been traveling and in close contact. The reason why it was reported out, just frankly, is that we had already started to contact tracing just prior to that event.” 

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, both tested negative for the virus on Friday. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Trump has consistently played down the severity of the virus, pushed states to violate public health guidelines by quickly reopening, and dismissed those who take recommended mitigation measures. 

During Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for regularly wearing a face mask. 

“When needed, I wear a mask,” Trump said. “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him he wears

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RH CEO expects elevated demand for home decor to carry through 2021

  • “There’s clearly, you know, a consumer shift that’s happening and you know people are holed up at home,” RH CEO Gary Friedman told CNBC.
  • “We’re benefiting from some of that shift, and at the same time … our teams did a great job of kind of improvising adapting and overcoming,” he said in a “Mad Money” interview.
  • “I think there’s going to be some systemic shifts in spending that will last, I think, for the next year or two — could be longer,” he said.

RH CEO on capitalizing on shifts in consumer spending habits

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Demand for home goods is still on the up and up, based on the quarterly results published by home furnishings retailer RH.

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RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, posted a top- and bottom-line beat in its fiscal 2020 second-quarter report as the company capitalized on the stay-at-home environment, CEO Gary Friedman told CNBC’s Jim Cramer after the Corte Madera, Calif.-based company reported earnings.

“There’s clearly, you know, a consumer shift that’s happening and you know people are holed up at home,” he said in a “Mad Money” interview.

“We’re benefiting from some of that shift, and at the same time I’d say our teams did a great job of kind of improvising. adapting and overcoming.”

RH reported revenue of $709 million in the quarter ended Aug. 1, a 0.4% tick up from a year ago, but a turnaround from the 20% revenue decline the company saw in its first fiscal quarter. The company recorded profits of $4.90 per share, smashing the $3.41 estimate in Factset.

Core demand has improved exponentially month over month since the U.S. economy began its recovery from the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year that brought world commerce to a near halt. RH said that that demand was up 7% in May, more than 30% in both June and July, and up 47% in the month of August. Core business grew 44% through the first 10 days of September, the company said.

That trend, however, can be ephemeral, Friedman said. Long term, RH is looking to grow net revenue by 8% to 12% and adjusted net income by 15% to 20%. The company expects the increased spending on home decor will continue through 2021.

“I think there’s going to be some systemic shifts in spending that will last, I think, for the next year or two — could be longer,” he said.

“We’ll benefit from the shifts right now, but, you know, that’s not anything what I call strategic. We’ll make the most of what’s happening, but it really doesn’t affect our long-term vision or long-term strategy.”

Shares of RH surged more than 20% to $385.46 at Thursday’s close.

RH CEO talks record Q2 results, reconceptualizing the brand

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