Negotiators in Washington have made no progress on getting a new economic aid package through Congress but a top White House official on Monday suggested such spending may not be
necessary. Democrats and Republicans are deadlocked on how much to spend to support the world's largest economy as it weathers the continuing side effects of the coronavirus pandemic which caused layoffs to surge, though some businesses are recovering.
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said that recent data pointed to a "self-sustaining, strong" recovery, and while a new spending bill "has some elements that could help" it may not be needed after all.
Congress passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act as the pandemic intensified in March, which provided loans and grants to badly affected small businesses as well as extra benefits to the unemployed.
Those programs have since expired, and even though sectors like real estate and retail sales have seen strong growth in recent months as lockdown orders have been lifted, Democrats controlling the House of Representatives have called for more spending to aid the recovery.
They passed a $3 trillion measure earlier in the year, which Republicans controlling the Senate have so far rejected. A Republican-backed measure costing $500 billion also failed to clear the Senate earlier this month after Democrats objected.
Despite the reopening, weekly Labor Department data shows layoffs remaining well above the worst week of the 2008-2010 global financial crisis, with 860,000 new claims filed in the week ended September 12, only a slight decrease from the week prior. AFP