President Donald Trump and top administration officials did an apparent 180-degree reversal on new stimulus funding mid-day on Friday (Oct. 9), just hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it's unlikely lawmakers will reach a deal before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
"Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!," Trump tweeted at 11:48 a.m.
At about the same time, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told Fox Business in a televised mid-day interview: "The president has approved a revised package. He would like to do a deal." Kudlow said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would discuss the new offer this afternoon with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Trump supports a package that would aid airlines and small businesses, among other sectors, Kudlow suggested. Small businesses have been hit especially hard by the pandemic.
The President's tweet and Kudlow's remarks come shortly after the Senate majority leader said in Kentucky that he did not foresee a deal before the election. Senate Republicans have expressed more concern about the cost of repaying borrowing to fund stimulus payments than House Democrats or Trump have expressed.
“I’d like to see us rise above that like we did back in March and April, but I think that’s unlikely in the next three weeks,” McConnell said, according to CNBC and other media outlets.
Earlier in the week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economy needs more stimulus. “Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” he said. “Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy and holding back wage growth ... by contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller.”