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Stephen Moore doubts need for $2T stimulus, predicting US economic growth

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Stephen Moore, an economist and adviser to President Trump, said he doesn’t think the country needs a $2.2 trillion stimulus package to help the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, predicting that growth would happen naturally. 

“The economy really is showing signs of picking up. I don’t care what the newspapers say,” he said Sunday on John Catsimatidis’s radio show on WABC 770.

“I see really strong numbers coming in for the third quarter… 30 percent to 35 percent growth, which shatters the all-time record for growth in one quarter.”

“At this point, I’m not so sure we need a $2 trillion stimulus bill,” he added. “I think the fourth quarter will be just as strong as the third quarter.”

At the start of the month, House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package amid stalled negotiations between House Democratic leadership and the White House. The $2.2 trillion price tag is less than the mammoth $3 trillion stimulus bill the lower chamber passed in May of this year. 

The Senate GOP have put forth a paired down bill with a price tag of $1.1 trillion in late July, though Democrats immediately rejected the sum, saying that it was not enough to address the economic and health impacts of COVID-19. 

The remarks come amid negotiations on a stimulus deal between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The White House offered a $1.6 trillion stimulus bill in recent weeks, but Senate Republicans were cool to the idea.

Later, the offer was increased t $1.8 trillion. 

Trump has thrown multiple wrenches into the negotiating process, announcing earlier this week that he was canceling negotiations between Pelosi and his administration before changing his tune and telling the speaker and Mnuchin to “go big.”

The GOP appears set on keeping the final price tag below $2 trillion, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has already noted that a high cost could deter some Republicans for voting for a bill out of concern over a ballooning national deficit and reelection campaigns. 

Pressure has remained high on lawmakers to reach a deal to help the still-sluggish economy recover more quickly from the coronavirus-fueled recession. Unemployment claims that were not seasonally adjusted this week rose 5,312 to a total of 804,307. 

While unemployment claims have fallen from the sky high levels seen earlier this year, they are still almost 200,000 claims above the pre-pandemic record high of 695,000 in October 1982.

John Catsimatidis is an investor in The Hill.

Tags Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Stephen Moore Steven Mnuchin
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