White House backs piecemeal US stimulus, says Trump aide

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow highlighted what he called the need for support for airline workers and small businesses that have suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. — Reuters pic
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow highlighted what he called the need for support for airline workers and small businesses that have suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Oct 7 — US President Donald Trump would back piecemeal fiscal relief measures to boost hard-hit industries, but does not think a broad-based package is achievable, a top White House aide said today.

In an interview with CNBC, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow highlighted what he called the need for support for airline workers and small businesses that have suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Kudlow’s remarks came after Trump abruptly ended stimulus talks yesterday afternoon, sinking US stocks, only to shift gears somewhat hours later on Twitter.

“There are several things that we believe would provide great assistance to specific targeted areas of this economy,” Kudlow said.

“I don’t think the recovery depends on the massive assistance package. However, I do think renewing or extending ... small business loans would be tremendous assistance. I think the airlines definitely need a lot of help.”

Kudlow said the narrow timeframe before the election and Trump’s emphasis on winning approval for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett made broader legislation impossible because “we’re too far apart for a gigantic bill.”

Congressional Democrats have resisted such narrow bills that do not contain their priorities, which include billions in aid for state and local governments. — AFP

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