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


  • 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, who has COVID-19, went into the Oval Office yesterday: Kudlow

  • President Donald Trump went into the Oval Office yesterday, according to White House Adviser Larry Kudlow.
  • Kudlow, a former CNBC host, was back on the network for an interview on stimulus talks and Trump’s condition.
  • “The president actually showed up in the Oval office yesterday with extra precautions with respect to his COVID-19 and he’s getting a lot better,” Kudlow said.
  • White House Senior Adviser Ben Williamson later disputed Kudlow’s claim.
  • “While the President wanted to be in the Oval Office yesterday, he was not there—he stayed back in the residence working from there,” Williamson said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump ventured back into the Oval Office yesterday despite his COVID-19 diagnosis, according to his adviser Larry Kudlow.

Kudlow was on CNBC for an interview ostensibly on stimulus talks, but he broke the news when asked about Trump’s condition.

“The president actually showed up in the Oval office yesterday with extra precautions with respect to his COVID-19 and he’s getting a lot better,” Kudlow said.

Kudlow would not say whether Trump wore a mask when pressed on it.

Instead, Kudlow claimed “additional measures” that are “much greater than simply masking” were taken.

A conflicting account emerged shortly after Kudlow’s appearance from Fox News Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts, citing anonymous sources saying Trump did not enter the Oval but that procedures were in place should he do so.

White House Senior Adviser Ben Williamson also disputed Kudlow’s claim.

The White House and Trump’s doctors have provided a series of misleading and confusing statements about the president’s health, making it impossible to know whether he’s still contagious or what risks he poses to other workers in the West Wing.


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White House’s Kudlow: ‘We can live’ without coronavirus relief deal

FILE PHOTO: White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow (CT) speaks by video feed during the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, U.S. August 25, 2020. 2020 Republican National Convention/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Friday said negotiations on another coronavirus relief bill are continuing, but said the United States can survive the end of the year without another round of aid meant to alleviate economic pain caused by the pandemic.

“Look, we can live with it. We can absolutely live with it,” Kudlow told Bloomberg TV when asked how comfortable he would be if the Republican White House and Democrats in Congress do not reach a deal by the end of the year.

Kudlow added that a “smart, well-targeted” package that includes employment assistance, funding to reopen schools and an extension of small-business loans “would be helpful.”

“Do we absolutely need it? No. I’m not going to precondition anything here,” he said, pointing to a Friday report that showed the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.4% last month while the country added 1.37 million jobs. “Right now the economy is on a self-sustaining recovery path in my judgment and will continue along those lines, and will continue to surprise on the upside.”

Negotiations for a fourth large stimulus package have been stalled for weeks, and Kudlow said the disagreements on its size and scope are “wide.” The Republican-led Senate left town last month without taking up another $3 trillion aid package the House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, passed in May or an alternative.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Timothy Ahmann; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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