Next Stimulus Relief Package 'Can't Have More' Enhanced Unemployment Benefits, WH Economic Adviser Says

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says he agrees that another large pandemic stimulus relief bill should be pumped into the economy, but Democrats' nearly $3 trillion proposals are bloated and still include unnecessary unemployment benefits.

Kudlow, head of the president's National Economic Council, acknowledged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin "spoke several times" over the weekend about finally pulling together a stimulus relief package before the election—but a deal remains unlikely. Kudlow dismissed repeated questions from CNBC hosts Tuesday on how he can insist the Trump administration is "out-performing expectations" with an unemployment rate hovering at 8.4 percent and several economic reports indicating one-in-three households with children are struggling to afford basic necessities.

Kudlow blamed "the other team" of Democrats for demanding "unnecessary" and massive stimulus package proposals which he ridiculed for continuing to include enhanced unemployment benefits which he and other Republicans have long said incentivize people to stay out of the workforce.

"We can't have more assistance for unemployment to continue," Kudlow told CNBC Tuesday, adding that "nobody in the White House or GOP is holding up this money intended for well-targeted sectors" including airlines, schools, retail and housing.

Kudlow agreed with the CNBC hosts that a second comprehensive stimulus package would help tens of millions of Americans. But he placed blame for that not happening over the past seven months squarely on congressional Democrats. Kudlow described the PPP business loan program as a "stroke of genius" and offered a glowing portrayal of the U.S. economy.

"Let's face it, the economy is performing now—with the increase of 11 million jobs, 14 million household jobs, a major drop in unemployment to 8.2 percent, nobody expected single digits until early next year. Continuing unemployment claims, initial claims, all trending lower, and we're spending strong. So I think we're off to a great start and we're out-performing expectations," Kudlow said, prompting the show hosts to push back.

"I'm not sure how you match those kind of numbers up with the V-shaped recovery and the fact that 'everybody is feeling good,' it still seems very unequal, we still have an 8.4 percent unemployment rate and 800,000 new jobless claims per week which is four times the normal number—how do you square that? asked Squawk Box co-host Sara Eisen, noting a Hamilton Project report which found only 1-in-3 American families with children are "secure" and able to provide regular meals for their kids.

"We are moving in the right question, the underlying economy was strong, we are rebuilding in housing and rebuilding in retail and automobiles, all of these sectors are coming alive. So you can take a snapshot, at any time during the aftermath, or let's say during this pandemic, it still exists, and the fact is we're beating it."

Kudlow dismissed the negative data, saying "you're referring to the current situation." He claimed preliminary Census Bureau data, as well as a recent Federal Reserve report, have revealed a very positive view of the economy in the near future.

"The Census Bureau, which is a reliable source without question, has indicated poverty rates are down and inequality is down, while real family income is up substantially for his three years, pre-pandemic, so that tells you that the [Trump] policies worked," Kudlow said.

He concluded the segment by insisting American voters "stay with pro-growth" and don't embrace former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign to "raise taxes" and increase regulations. "This is no time, nobody should be arguing to take money out of people's pockets," he added.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for additional remarks Tuesday morning, but did not receive a response before publication.

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says he agrees that another large pandemic stimulus relief bill should be pumped into the economy, but Democrats' nearly $3 trillion proposals are bloated and still include unnecessary unemployment benefits. Screenshot: CNBC | YouTube