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On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck

On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck
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Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL—Trump makes a late pitch on the economy: President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE’s campaign is seizing on record-breaking U.S. economic growth in the third quarter to make a last-ditch effort at convincing voters that he is the best candidate to handle the recovery from the coronavirus recession.

The president has sought to assure voters that he is best equipped to bring the U.S. economy back to its pre-pandemic strength. But while new figures represent good news, economists warn that they do not reflect all of the deepening damage wrought by the pandemic. The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and I explain here.

The numbers: The U.S. economy grew at a record 33.1 percent annualized rate in the third quarter, swiftly recovering some of the deep losses driven by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department.

  • The seasonally-adjusted rate of growth, an advance estimate from the department, means that if the pace of economic growth between July and September spanned 12 months, the U.S. economy would have increased in size by roughly a third.
  • On a non-annualized basis, the economy grew by 7.4 percent in the third quarter.
  • GDP would have needed to rise at a 45.7 percent annualized rate in the third quarter to recover the total loss in the first and second quarters.

Read more: US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop

The politics: 

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  • Trump repeatedly cited the 33.1 percent figure during a campaign rally in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, as he promised future tax cuts and record job growth. 
  • But the president muddled his own message as he oscillated back and forth to other topics.

“I got a call from all the experts, right, guys that ran for president six, seven, eight times, never got past the first round, but they’re calling up, ‘Sir, you shouldn’t be speaking about Hunter [Biden],’ ” Trump told the crowd. “They say, talk about your economic success. Talk about 33.1 percent, the greatest in history. Look, if I do, how many times can I say it?” 

 

LEADING THE DAY

Pelosi, eyeing big COVID-19 deal in lame duck, wants 'clean slate' for Biden: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiVoters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Democrats want to pass coronavirus aid this year, empowering a potential President Joe Biden to quickly move on to other party priorities in 2021.

  • Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress have outlined ambitious legislative plans for next year, including efforts to bolster the nation's infrastructure, lower prescription drug costs, tackle climate change and reform the campaign finance system. 
  • Confident in a Biden victory, Pelosi said she wants to help jumpstart that agenda by moving another massive coronavirus package before year's end.

"We have plenty of work to do in the Joe Biden administration," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "We'll be working between the White House and the Congress to get those jobs done, so we want to have as clean a slate as possible going into January." The Hill’s Mike Lillis has more here.

New tensions between Pelosi and White House: That might be easier said than done.

“Your responses are critical for our negotiations to continue," Pelosi wrote. "The President’s words … only have meaning if he can get [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFeinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee Voters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus MORE (R-Ky.) to take his hand off the pause button.”

But Mnuchin and Trump economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE did not appreciate the pressure — nor that fact the the media saw the letter before they did.

  • “Our team now believes that the Speaker has no intention of compromising on key issues,” Kudlow said. “She is stringing us along.”
  • “I woke up this morning and read @SpeakerPelosi’s letter to me in the press. Enclosed is my response. Her ALL OR NONE approach is hurting hard-working Americans who need help NOW!” Mnuchin tweeted with a letter of his own attached.

 

Weekly jobless claims fall to 751,000 in last report before election: Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to 751,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis in the week ending Oct. 24, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

  • Initial claims decreased by 40,000 from the previous week’s revised amount of 791,000. 
  • The Labor Department initially reported last week that there had been 787,000 new claims for unemployment insurance in the week ending Oct. 17.
  • The amount of new jobless claims in the week ending Oct. 24 was lower than economists’ expectation of 775,000.
  • The number of unadjusted claims was 732,223, a decrease of 28,354 from the previous week.

The report is the last batch of weekly jobless claims data that the Labor Department is releasing before Tuesday’s presidential election. The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda breaks it down here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS