Second Stimulus Check: White House Adviser Claims Economy Recovery Can Happen Without Direct Payments

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Thursday he believes another coronavirus economic relief package does not need a stimulus check. Kudlow's comments came as Washington remains in a stalemate over the next relief package after no deal was reached on Aug. 7. Both Republicans and Democrats have included stimulus checks in their past stimulus package proposals.

During a new interview with Politico's Ben White, Kudlow predicted the economy could make a comeback without another relief package at all. "I think we are [able to continue recovering without financial stimulus]," Kudlow told White. "If the virus continues to flatten after this tough summer of spiking, I think you'll see more businesses reopen, even those that might have paused will come back online [and] more people are going to come back to work."

In the same interview, Kudlow said "at least a third, if not more" of the Democratic proposals are "not related to COVID," specifically the $25 billion in funding for the USPS. "But that’s not the only thing, and I’m not gonna go through a laundry list," Kudlow said. "Their ask, at least a trillion [dollars], was not directly related to either the economy or the health situation with respect to COVID." Generally, Kudlow said he prefers tax cuts and "incentives" over more spending.

Kudlow came under fire Tuesday night by referring to the coronavirus as a thing of the past during his speech at the Republican National Convention, even though almost 1,200 Americans died in the previous 24 hours. “It was awful. Health and economic impacts were tragic," Kudlow said. "Hardship and heartbreak were everywhere. But presidential leadership came swiftly and effectively with an extraordinary rescue for health and safety to successfully fight the COVID virus." On Thursday, Kudlow told Politico that the rise in the stock market and stabilized case numbers "doesn’t mean the hardships are over — they’re not."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ended their negotiations on another stimulus relief package earlier this month without a deal. Meadows and Pelosi had a 25-minute phone conversation on Thursday, but still have not reached a deal, Pelosi's office said. Democrats passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act in May, while Senate Republicans introduced the $1 trillion HEALS Act in July, both of which included direct payments to Americans. Recently, Republicans have discussed a "skinny" bill, which would not include a stimulus check at all.