Kudlow Says Stimulus Would Have Been 'Great Start,' Tells Democrats You Can't Have 'Everything'

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow doesn't understand why Democrats didn't support the GOP-backed economic relief plan, saying it could have been a great starting point for helping Americans in need.

Kudlow told reporters outside the White House that he gave "kudos" to the "unified GOP" in the Senate for voting in favor of a bill that would have helped the economy. The bill, which was a slimmed-down version of the Republicans' July proposal, was defeated in the Senate by eight votes, with every Democrat voting against it.

Kudlow said that "$500 billion, it would be a great start. With key areas like small-business assistance, back to school money, vaccine money, COVID liability restrictions, child care, things of that sort, why not? How could that be bad? You can't just have everything you want in life."

Newsweek reached out to the Democratic Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

The bill didn't include "every idea" the GOP wanted, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but was intended to be a round of relief that could garner support. It included funds for health care, schools, unemployment and more loans for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program.

larry kudlow stimulus bill congress
Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House on September 2. On Friday, Kudlow said the Republican-backed economic relief bill would have been a "great start" and criticized Democrats for blocking it in the Senate. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty

Democrats criticized the $1 trillion package for failing to address the needs of those who need economic help during the coronavirus pandemic and lambasted the amount of aid as being wholly insufficient. Both Democrats and Republicans have accused each other of playing party politics and being to blame for why Americans have yet to see new relief legislation.

Kudlow said Democrats and Republicans should be able to compromise as they did in March with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. However, since they've been unable to come to an agreement, Kudlow praised President Donald Trump for taking action on his own through executive orders to boost unemployment aid, continue the pause on student loan payments and interest, and institute a payroll tax cut deferral.

Trump's decision to act is "about leadership" and something that should impress everyone, Kudlow said.

While many economists consider another round of relief crucial to America's recovery from the pandemic's economic fallout, Kudlow isn't in that camp. He told Politico chief economic correspondent Ben White in late August the economy can bounce back even if Congress doesn't reach a deal—if businesses continue to reopen and put people back to work.

Kudlow stood by his position while talking to reporters on Friday, saying that the economy's recovery didn't "hinge" on the GOP bill but it would have "helped" small businesses and "ordinary Americans."