(CNSNews.com) - Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Counsel in President Donald Trump’s White House, said today that the coronavirus bill they are preparing now will be “the single largest Main Street assistance program in the history of the United States.”
“So, the total package here comes to roughly $6 trillion: $2 trillion direct assistance, roughly $4 trillion in Federal Reserve lending power,” said Kudlow at a White House briefing.
“Again,” he said, “it’ll be the largest Main Street financial package in the history of the United States. Liquidity and cash for families, small business, individuals, unemployed to keep things going.”
“We’re headed for a rough period, but it’s only going to be weeks, we think,” said Kudlow. “Weeks and months. It’s not going to be years, that’s for sure. And hopefully pave the way for continued economic recovery after the crisis departs.”
In all of fiscal 2019, according to the Treasury, the federal government spent a total of $4,446,584,000,000. So, this $6,000,000,000,000 coronavirus package is $1,553,416,000,000—or about 35 percent more than all the spending the federal government did in the last fiscal year.
Here is the full text of Larry Kudlow’s statement at today’s briefing:
"We’re gaining great progress on this phase three legislation. Negotiations continue. We’ve had continued reports. I’ve been up there with Secretary Mnuchin. Secretary Mnuchin continues today with the Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, checking in with the President. They’re getting closer and closer. They expect a vote as soon as possible.
"I just want to walk through a couple of key points. This legislation is urgently needed to bolster the economy; provide cash injections and liquidity; and stabilize financial markets to get us through a difficult period — a difficult and challenging period in the economy facing us right now, but also to position us for what I think can be an economic rebound later this year.
"We started the year very strong. And then we got hit by the coronavirus in ways that probably nobody imagined possible. We’re dealing with that as best we can.
"This package will be the single-largest Main Street assistance program in the history of the United States. The single-largest Main Street assistance program in the history of the United States.
"Phase two delivered the sick leave for individuals — hourly workers, families, and so forth."
"Phase three, a significant package for small businesses. Loan guarantees will be included. We’re going to take out expenses and lost revenues. As the President said, eligibility requires worker retention. We will maintain the people eligible. We’ll maintain their payrolls during this crisis period. And, on top of that, we will have direct deposit checks of roughly $3,000 for a family of four and that will bridge to enhanced, plussed-up unemployment insurance benefits that will essentially take those up to full wages. This is one, two, three, four.
"You know, a strong workforce requires strong business. You can’t have a job without a business to work for. And the hope here is that — the companies that were operating very well at beginning of the year when the economy was in good shape, we will help them and their employees get through this tough period so they will come out the other side — let’s say this — later this spring or summer — and will continue their operations. That’s the key point.
"Now, don’t forget there’s income tax deferrals for individuals and corporations without interest and penalties. There is student loan interest and principle deferrals without any penalties.
"And finally, I want to mention, the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Refund. That will be replenished. It’s important, because that fund opens the door for Federal Reserve firepower to deal a broad-based way throughout the economy for distressed industries, for small businesses, for financial turbulence.
"You’ve already seen the Fed take action. They intend to take more action. And in order to get this, we have to replenish the Treasury’s Emergency Fund. It’s very, very important; not everybody understands that. That fund, by the way, will be overseen by an oversight board and an inspector general. It will be completely transparent.
"So, the total package here comes to roughly $6 trillion: $2 trillion direct assistance, roughly $4 trillion in Federal Reserve lending power. Again, it’ll be the largest Main Street financial package in the history the United States. Liquidity and cash for families, small business, individuals, unemployed, to keep this thing going.
"We’re headed for a rough period, but it’s only going to be weeks, we think. Weeks and months. It’s not going to be years, that’s for sure. And hopefully pave the way for continued economic recovery after this crisis departs."