White House advisers think that it is too early to pass additional economic package as Congress has begun preliminary discussions on a fourth such bill.
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said the “Trump administration has been monitoring economic activity in response to previous stimulus packages and projections related to the COVID-19 pandemic as governors and Congress have called for a bill with as much as $1 trillion in additional funding for state and local governments”.
Kudlow said, “I think that it’s just premature given that the $9 trillion of aid that passed in the last three phases, given that is still out there and there’s still a bunch of it that’s going to be delivered over the next month,” Hassett said on CNN’s State of the Union. “We think that we have a little moment … the luxury of a moment to learn about what’s going on so that the next step that we take can be prudent.I think many people would like to just pause for a moment and take a look at the economic impact of the massive assistance program, which is the greatest in United States history,”
Kudlow added however that he and Hassett have been discussing a fourth package with lawmakers, taking part in a conference call with a bipartisan group of 50 House representatives on Friday with a similar call with senators scheduled for Monday.
He said, “I do think there are issues here. And there are probably going to be some agreements and disagreements. Each side has its own positions. So, it’s not that we’re not talking. We are. It’s just informal at this stage”.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month said Congress would seek to include about $1 trillion in funds for state and local governments in a fourth relief bill, saying states require $500 billion in funding while municipalities and local governments have similar needs.
President Donald Trump and lawmakers including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have opposed the idea, saying they do not wish to bail out governors who financially mismanaged their states prior to the pandemic.
Hasset noted the previous bills included measures allowing states to use federal funds to pay first responders and said Trump has signaled he would prefer further funding to be focused on helping state governments cover “unexpected expenses” related to COVID-19.