Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday that another stimulus package was “essential” to the recovery of the US economy.
While the counting of votes continued, Powell drew public attention to the recent peaks in COVID-19, saying the increase in cases was “particularly worrying” for the economy.
“A full economic recovery is unlikely until people are convinced that it is safe to get back into a wide range of activities,” he told reporters, adding that the CARES law “was absolutely essential to support the recovery so far, which has generally exceeded expectations.
“Further support will likely be needed,” Powell added.
Powell has repeatedly called for Congress to provide more financial support to Americans in the midst of months of stalemate in stimulus programs. “Fiscal policy can do what we can’t do, which is to compensate for lost income for people who are unemployed through no fault of their own,” said the Federal Reserve Chairman, describing government spending on aid as “absolutely necessary.
The majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, adjourned the Senate until November 9, after upholding President Donald Trump’s nominated Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. On Wednesday McConnell said that another coronavirus relief package must be put together by the end of 2020. He had previously hinted that an agreement would probably not be reached before early 2021.
“We need another rescue package… I think we need to do it, and we need to do it before the end of the year,” McConnell said in Louisville, Kentucky.
The deadline for passing the next federal budget falls on December 11. Congress must pass another bill by that date to avoid a government shutdown, and legislators could use this window of opportunity to pass a much-needed stimulus package.
On October 22, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin were “just about ready” and expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached soon. “I think we have now agreed on direct payments,” she added.
Pelosi and Mnukhin, who is leading talks for the Trump government, began negotiations in August. While the talks dragged on for months, both sides of the political camp blamed each other for their inability to reach an agreement. The Democrats accused the GOP of not providing sufficient funds to adequately address the economic consequences of the Covid affair, while the Republicans accused the Democrats of using the pandemic to advance their political agenda.
The Trump administration has now reached $1.9 trillion, a figure close to the Democrats’ recent $2.2 trillion offer.
Washington Newsday asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to comment….