Coronavirus / Economic Developments

Trump, GOP Bet on States Reopening to Boost Economy, Not Stimulus

President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders are looking to state restrictions lifting to propel an economic rebound that will ease pressure for another round of stimulus.

“There is only one way out of this dilemma: America has to grow again, to open up again, and I am pleased that is beginning to happen in my states and other states,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said yesterday at the Capitol after Trump had a lunch meeting with GOP senators.

Trump, who has been urging governors to lift restrictions on businesses, said he expects “a really great third quarter” for the U.S. economy.

Republicans are putting up a unified front on holding off on another round of stimulus and  that’s put them in an election-year stalemate with Democrats, who last week pushed through the House a $3 trillion package, which the GOP rejected.

The lunch session with Trump followed a morning meeting in McConnell’s office on the Hill with Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Since agreeing to a massive stimulus package in March, Republican leaders in both chambers have been united in arguing that careful consideration is needed to provide more relief amid an explosion in spending to address the pandemic and boost the economy.

McConnell said both congressional Republicans and Mnuchin, who negotiated previous rounds of stimulus with Democrats, are all in agreement that a pause is needed. With the Senate leaving later this week for a nearly two-week recess, he said discussions on next steps would happen in a couple of weeks.

A House GOP aide added that in addition to hoping to wait for a better measure of how the economy is faring, Republicans are concerned that offering more aid to states and individuals would encourage slower movement by governors to lift business lockdowns.

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