Cong leaves Washington with no deal; Trump pushes for more virus relief

Negotiations between Democratic leaders and White House officials collapsed last week.

US President Donald Trump pushed for more COVID-19 relief to households and small businesses after congressional lawmakers left Washington with no deal in sight.

"I have directed the Secretary of the Treasury to get ready and send direct payments of $3400 for a family of four to all Americans, Democrats are holding this up," Trump said at a press conference on Friday, adding he is also ready to send more money to help small businesses hurt by the pandemic, and state and local governments, Xinhua news agency reported.

Asked by reporters whether he would take unilateral action on these issues or wait for the legislative package, Trump responded: "I'm waiting for the Democrats to approve it, okay?"

Both chambers of Congress have left for their August recesses and are not expected to return until September unless they strike a COVID-19 relief deal.

Negotiations between Democratic leaders and White House officials collapsed last week, with both sides blaming each other for making little progress on the much-needed relief package.

In an attempt to circumvent Congress, Trump last Saturday signed a series of executive orders to extend certain COVID-19 economic relief, but they are unlikely to provide a meaningful boost to the overall economy.

"A closer look at these orders suggests they will have at best marginal economic benefits even if fully implemented, which is questionable given the legality of the orders and the likely court challenges," Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, wrote in an analysis earlier this week.

Zandi estimated that these orders could provide just over US $400 billion in total relief, but the US economy needs a fiscal aid package costing at least US $1.5 trillion to avoid falling back into recession, based on simulations of Moody's macroeconomic model.

After rebounding strongly in May and June, US economic activity has begun to slow since July as some states have paused their reopening plans or re-imposed restrictions on some activities due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

"The resurgence in COVID-19 cases and subsequent pullback in activity have already begun. Delays to aid by Congress will exacerbate the slowdown in August," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, a major accounting firm.

--IANS

rt/


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel