Kudlow Says Republicans, Democrats in a ‘Stalemate’
PoliticsJack Phillips

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that Democratic and Republican negotiations are currently mired in a “stalemate” over what should be included in the next pandemic relief measure.

“I don’t want to bet on anything … it’s a stalemate,” he said on Thursday morning when he was asked by a reporter about whether there will be a deal.

He said that there are too many demands from “their side,” referring to the Democrats, adding that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said top Democrats want a $2 trillion dollar bill. There are many provisions, he said, that have nothing to do with COVID-19.

Republicans, however, don’t want to pass a bill of that size, Kudlow told reporters near the White House.

The HEROES Act, passed by the Democratic-controlled House in May, is worth approximately $3.4 trillion dollars. Republicans unveiled a $1 trillion deal last month in the Senate, known as the HEALS Act.

One of the main points of contention now is voting during the November 2020 election.

“They are asking too much money, $3.5 trillion, we have already spent over $3 trillion,” Kudlow said in an interview earlier on Thursday. “So much of the Democratic asks are really liberal left wish lists—voting rights and aid to aliens and so forth.”

President Donald Trump over the past weekend issued a series of executive orders and memorandums including authorizing expanded unemployment payments of $400 per week, a deferral on payroll taxes, a deferral on student loan payments, and looking into whether evictions can be suspended. Critics have said that the moves are unconstitutional while saying they don’t go far enough.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said that a deal is needed.

“With families nationwide struggling to make ends meet & children going hungry, Republicans are playing politics and refusing to put #FamiliesFirst. It’s time for them to get serious, meet us halfway & come back to the negotiating table,” she said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits dropped below one million last week for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, though at least 28 million people are still receiving unemployment checks, indicating the labor market was far from healing.

The expiration of a $600 weekly jobless supplement at the end of July likely contributed to the decline in claims reported by the Labor Department on Thursday. Reports from payroll scheduling and workforce management firms suggested a decline in employment in early August due to the spread of new COVID-19 cases across the United States.

Reuters contributed to this report.