Larry Kudlow says Trump has "approved" a "revised" stimulus package
White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said Friday that President Trump had "approved" a "revised" coronavirus aid package, although it is not yet clear what that means. Negotiations on a coronavirus bailout bundled Capitol Hill for weeks, but President Trump slammed the door on a pre-election deal earlier this week, though he later turned it back.
"The president has approved a revised package," said Kudlow on Friday morning at Fox Business. "He'd like to make a deal."
Kudlow claimed they were "putting the finishing touches" to a package with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But Kudlow wasn't closely involved in the Capitol Hill negotiations, as was Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
The White House rejected the idea of a big incentive, but late Friday morning the president tweeted, "Covid Relief Negotiations are moving forward. Go Big!"
Mr Trump broke off business negotiations earlier this week and said he had "instructed my representatives not to stop negotiations until after the election". Hours later, he tweeted urging Congress to pass aid on a series of stand-alone bills. The president's tweet breaking negotiations dropped markets and confused many weeks before the election.
Pelosi's office declined to comment on Friday because they said the new offer had not yet been presented to her. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell also doubted a possible deal, saying on Friday that he believes "the situation is somehow bleak".
"I'd love to see us rise above like we did in March and April, but I think it's unlikely in the next three weeks," McConnell told reporters in Kentucky, citing previous bipartisan laws.
A Pelosi spokesman said later Friday that Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke for 30 minutes that afternoon.
"Speaker and Secretary Mnuchin spoke on the phone for a little over 30 minutes at 1:40 pm. Today the secretary returned to the table with a proposal that sought to address some of the Democrats' concerns," said Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff Pelosi from employees. "Of particular concern is the lack of agreement on a strategic plan to fight the virus. We are waiting for the administration to speak on these and other provisions as negotiations on the total amount of funding continue."
Pelosi said Thursday it would only consider a standalone bill if it was guaranteed a larger bill would also be considered.
"There is no separate bill without a larger bill," said Pelosi. However, she said the House Democrats were still interested in negotiating, adding, "We want to continue the conversation."
The House passed a $ 2.4 trillion bill last week designed to restore a popular benefit that provides an additional round of direct payments on top of unemployment benefits, an additional $ 600 per week and provides funding for schools and state and local jurisdictions. The legislation was a scaled-down version of a $ 3.4 trillion bill that the House originally passed in May.
But McConnell has hinted that the Senate would be unwilling to consider laws costing more than $ 2 trillion and ridiculed the price of the house bill as "off" and "too high."
Mr Trump is staying at the White House, where he is recovering from COVID-19 but may start the campaign again soon.
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