Mick Mulvaney, who served as President Donald Trump's acting chief of staff for over a year, believes it would be a "huge" political risk for Trump to reach a deal for the next coronavirus stimulus relief package so close to the Nov. 3 election. The former South Carolina Representative believes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would say Trump "caved" by reaching a deal now. During Thursday night's NBC News town hall, Trump repeatedly said he wanted a new stimulus package and accused Pelosi of standing in the way.
"Folks are starting to pay attention to the fact there could be huge political risks to the president at this time by doing a deal this late in the game," Mulvaney said on Fox Business' Varney & Co. Friday. "If they do a deal at this late point in the discussions, Nancy Pelosi's going to say the president caved. The press will play up that angle and it could actually hurt the president politically." Mulvaney, who still has a job in the Trump administration as a special envoy to Northern Ireland, said he hoped there was not going to be a deal for political and economic reasons.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also appeared on Varney & Co. Friday and predicted it would be "almost impossible" to put a stimulus package into effect before the election, even if a deal is reached. Kudlow told host Stuart Varney he "would" consider increasing the White House's current $1.8 trillion proposal. "Absolutely, I would. I would say more. I would go higher. Go big or go home, I said it yesterday," Kudlow said.
On Thursday, Trump claimed Pelosi was "holding up" a stimulus deal, even though he tweeted himself earlier this month there would be no stimulus agreement before the election earlier this month. "You know who I’m negotiating against? Nancy Pelosi, because she doesn’t want to give them money," Trump told town hall moderator Savannah Guthrie Thursday night. "We should have stimulus. This was not our people’s fault. This was China’s fault. And she’s penalizing our people. I’m ready to sign a big, beautiful stimulus. You saw the other day, I said, “Go big or go home.'"
Trump might want to sign a "big, beautiful" stimulus package and House Democrats have already passed a $2.2 trillion package, but there remains one major roadblock. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already rejected any proposal that goes over $1 trillion, even the White House's own $1.8 trillion proposal. Instead, he plans to have the Senate vote on a package that costs $500 billion.