White House: Trump Okays New Stimulus Relief Package, Wants Talks With Democrats

October 9, 2020 Updated: October 9, 2020

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday that President Donald Trump approved a new pandemic relief package, coming days after he called off negotiations on another round of aid to workers and businesses.

“The president has approved a revised package. He would like to do a deal,” Larry Kudlow said Friday on Fox Business, adding that the White House offered a $1.8 trillion deal to counter Democrats’ $2.2 trillion HEROES Act. “It will be relatively broad-based but I can’t go through details.”

Despite the optimism, it’s not clear whether Congress would approve the measure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats have insisted on a $2.2 trillion deal.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be discussing the plan with Pelosi later in the day, Kudlow said. Pelosi said she would speak to him.

“The devil and the angels are in the details,” she told MSNBC in an interview on Friday. “So part of it is about money. And part of it is about policy.”

Earlier this week, Trump wrote that he would call off negotiations with House Democrats, but later said he wanted a standalone bill for stimulus payments and airline relief.

“We started talking again. And we’re talking about airlines and we’re talking about a bigger deal than airlines,” Trump told Fox News later. “We’re talking about a deal with $1,200 per person, we’re talking about other things.”

On Friday, Trump wrote that “Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along,” adding, “Go Big!”

According to a spokesman for Pelosi, Drew Hammill, she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke Thursday “for 40 minutes.”

“Their conversation focused on determining whether there is any prospect of an imminent agreement on a comprehensive bill. The Secretary made clear the President’s interest in reaching such an agreement,” he said.

For several months, Congress has struggled to reach an agreement on more stimulus legislation. Negotiations collapsed in early August and prompted Trump to sign several executive orders including $300-per-week federal unemployment benefits, student loan aid, eviction aid, a suspension of payroll taxes, and more.

On Friday, Wall Street’s main indexes rose, setting up the S&P 500 and the Dow for their second straight weekly gain on hopes of more federal fiscal aid. Recent trading on Wall Street has been dictated by negotiations in Washington on more stimulus as signs of a slowdown in the domestic economic recovery sparked calls for more aid for businesses and households.

Reuters contributed to this report.