What to watch for if Pelosi and Mnuchin strike stimulus deal
White House economic director Larry Kudlow said “the ball’s not moving much right now” on negotiations over an additional round of federal stimulus, even as coronavirus cases spike in parts of the country raising the prospect of further shutdowns.
“It’s very difficult,” Kudlow said Friday during an interview with Bloomberg Television, adding that there are still a number of issues dividing the White House and Democrats. “The clock is ticking, as you know.”
Kudlow signaled pessimism over the chances of getting a bill before Election Day, saying disagreements remain over policies like liability protection and assistance to undocumented migrants. Even if a deal were reached, Kudlow said, it would be hard to draft and pass in the 11 days before voters head to the polls.
Kudlow said he had heard that “the GOP conference in the Senate would be willing to support a bill as long as it is a genuinely bipartisan deal and their asks are included.” He said he wasn’t aware of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell -- who opposes a larger spending package -- telling the White House not to make a deal.
Dimming hopes for an agreement before Election Day raises the risk that additional stimulus funds may not arrive until January, depending on the results of the Nov. 3 election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that committee chairs in the House and Senate have become involved in the talks, addressing smaller issues in the bill.