The White House tried on Sunday to rekindle the possibility of passing a new economic stimulus package to overcome the crisis caused by the pandemic, despite opposition from both Democrats and Republicans, less than four weeks before the presidential elections of March 3. of November.
“I don’t think he’s dead at all” a possible deal, Larry Kudlow, an economic adviser to the White House, told CNN.
“We are asking for some specific areas of assistance that would help this recovery. It is a V-shaped recovery, but there are key areas that could help,” Kudlow said.
“These are simple things. They have bipartisan support. We could do it as separate bills, or a collective bill, or whatever. But I don’t understand the intransigence of my friends the Democrats,” he said.
“I think if an agreement could be reached (with the Democrats), the Republicans would agree,” he added.
Markets tumbled Tuesday following Trump’s abrupt decision to end stimulus package talks until after the election, but he took a sharp turn in the days that followed in favor of a deal.
On Friday, the White House stepped up its offer, proposing a $ 1.8 trillion package, up from the previously proposed $ 1.5 trillion package, as Trump himself, who is lagging in national polls, spoke in favor of an even bigger package with the intention of reaching a deal with the Democrats.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chilled the chances of a deal on the same day, saying Congress is unlikely to greenlight a new stimulus package before the election because of differences over how much to spend.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, who has been negotiating the recovery plan with Steven Mnuchin, the Secretary of the Treasury, deplored that “one step forward, two steps back” and considered that this proposal “is not enough”.
– Trump, willing to go “further” –
“We still have disagreements on many priorities,” Pelosi wrote to members of her parliamentary group on Saturday, saying, however, that she was “optimistic.”
Democrats want a total of $ 2.2 trillion in aid to homes, businesses and states.
Kudlow insisted that the Trump administration would like to achieve specific measures to help some sectors of the economy heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic, such as air transport and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but also suggested that the House Blanca could give a new signal to the Democrats.
“Mnuchin has increased his offer to $ 1.8 trillion. So the proposal is in the middle of the field. President Trump has always said – I’ve heard him say it in the Oval Room – that if it were big things like checks (to households), helping the unemployed, helping small businesses, airlines, he would go further. He’s always said that, “Kudlow said.
In addition to the opposition, the White House proposal was rejected by several Republican senators as being too generous and because they oppose aid going to local communities, especially states that have been badly affected by the pandemic, many ruled by Democrats.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is now nearly 10 points ahead of Trump in the national poll average and has also bolstered his lead in voting intent in states that will decide the election.
Meanwhile, the economic outlook is disastrous, with almost 11 million unemployed, and a total of 25 million with income impaired by the pandemic surviving thanks to public aid.
Many small and medium-sized companies face liquidity problems that threaten their survival, while large firms begin to make mass layoffs, a wave difficult to contain, according to experts, without the help of the federal government.
A deal would follow through on the $ 2.2 trillion Cares Act and other measures that brought the total aid approved by Congress to nearly $ 3 trillion.