Stimulus Talks Continue, Slowing Down: White House Adviser

October 26, 2020 Updated: October 26, 2020

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow announced on Oct. 26 that stimulus talks between the Trump administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have slowed but are continuing.

“We are close but there are still important policy issues that separate us,” Kudlow said in an interview, adding that talks “have certainly slowed down.”

Speaking to reporters at the White House, he said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will obtain reports from the leaders of congressional committees that have been working on a stimulus deal, adding that Mnuchin might speak with Pelosi on Monday.

“The talks continue. They will continue today,” Kudlow said. “There are still a number of areas in her plan that the president cannot accept, just can’t accept it.”

“I will also say, there are a number of targeted areas that we really think would help the economy.”

The differences “have narrowed,” but “the more it narrows, the more conditions come up on the other side,” he told reporters. Pelosi said on CNN on Oct. 25 that the White House has been “moving the goal posts” during negotiations.

Funding to cities and states remains a top point of contention among both sides, as Democrats have proposed as much as $1 trillion while Republicans have sought far less, Kudlow said. President Donald Trump and Republican allies have cast the funding as a “bailout” for “poorly run” Democratic cities and states.

Other sticking points include provisions around immigration and health care, Kudlow said.

The House Democrat-passed HEROES Act “would provide financial assistance, increased medical care, and address other consequences of the outbreak for immigrants and other vulnerable populations in the United States,” according to ImmigrationImpact.

When he was asked again about whether a stimulus deal could be reached before the Nov. 3 election, Kudlow demurred.

“I am not here to be either optimistic or pessimistic,” he said.

The issue of stimulus to combat economic losses during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic came up during last week’s debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Trump told the debate moderator that a stimulus deal hasn’t been reached because Pelosi “doesn’t want to approve anything, because she’d love to have some victories on a date called November 3rd,” Trump said, then added that she doesn’t actually want the deal because “it’s near the election.”

Biden suggested during the debate he would support the Democrat-backed HEROES Act, first passed in May. Senate Republicans have unilaterally rejected the bill, saying it has too many non-COVID-19 provisions while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has described it as a “socialist manifesto.”