- One of Trump’s former top economic advisors says he supports Biden’s nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, CNN reported.
- The large package would include a $1,400 stimulus check, additional unemployment benefits, and aid for state and local governments.
- Some Senate Republicans have said they oppose the large package.
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A former top economic adviser to President Donald Trump says he supports President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package and thinks Congress should pass it, CNN reported.
Kevin Hassett told the network on Friday that the package is a way to keep the economy afloat, and that he feared the GDP could shrink again without it.
“There are so many businesses treading water, barely hanging on. Now they are getting hit by another shock,” Hassett told CNN. “You could end up in a negative spiral for the economy.”
Hassett served as Trump’s top economic adviser from 2017 to 2019. He returned in a voluntary role in March 2020.
Some Republican Senators have said they’re opposed to Biden’s package.
“It’s hard for me to see when we just passed $900 billion of assistance why we would have a package that big,” Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig in a brief Thursday interview on Capitol Hill. “Maybe a couple of months from now, the needs will be evident and we will need to do something significant, but I’m not seeing it right now.”
Biden’s plan includes a $1,400 stimulus check, $400 in weekly federal unemployment benefits, $130 billion in funds to reopen schools and, $350 billion in assistance for state and local governments.
Hassett told CNN that while he’s not entirely enthusiastic about every part of Biden’s plan, “broadly speaking” he “absolutely” is in favor of it.
“We made it through last year without a total, utter collapse of GDP because of extremely aggressive stimulus,” Hassett said.
The US lost 140,000 jobs in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, about 3.9 million Americans were long-term unemployed, in December. That means they were out of work for at least 27 weeks. That’s more than a third of all the unemployed Americans.
So far, the US has had close to 25 million COVID-19 cases with over 417,000 deaths.