Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Pleads For More Stimulus
Mnuchin has been working with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to lead the Covid-19 relief negotiations. They both believe the economic crisis should translate to extra stimulus from Congress and the Fed.
“Now is not the time to worry about shrinking the deficit or shrinking the Fed balance sheet,” Mnuchin told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” from the White House. “There was a time when the Fed was shrinking the balance sheet and coming back to normal. The good news is that gave them a lot of room to increase the balance sheet, which they did.”
“And I think both the monetary policy working with fiscal policy and what we were able to get done in an unprecedented way with Congress is the reason the economy is doing better,” he added.
Interestingly, Mnuchin doesn't agree with his fellow Republicans who argue that improving jobs data and strong housing figures relax the need for additional spending to combat the impact of the coronavirus.
“The majority of Republicans are now no different than socialist Democrats when it comes to debt,” Sen. Rand Paul wrote on Twitter in July. “They simply don’t care about debt and are preparing to add at least another trillion dollars in debt this month, combined with the trillions from earlier this summer.” (The cumulative federal budget deficit for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2020 was $3 trillion. )
Mnuchin, who argues that more stimulus is needed to help the U.S. economy, said Monday that “we are rebounding in a very, very significant way.”
All Democrats present and Paul voted 52-47 against a new bill that would have reimposed additional federal unemployment benefits at a rate of $300 per week. (Previously $600 weekly payment expired in the end of July.)
“I think there’s many areas of this where [there] is an agreement between the Democrats and the Republicans, and some of the areas we do have differences on the amounts,” Mnuchin said. “But I will continue to work on this: I’ve told the speaker I’m available any time to negotiate.”