New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio slammed White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett for saying that the country might not need an additional economic relief bill passed through Congress and signed by President Trump.
At a press conference Sunday, de Blasio said Hassett appeared to favor ‘saving money rather than protecting people.’
‘I was digusted when I heard these comments because it sounded like the comments not only a cheapskate but someone who just didn’t care,’ de Blasio told reporters. ‘So I hope President Trump will renounce these comments immediately.’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio lashed out at White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett for suggesting there may not be a need for a ‘phase four’ coronavirus stimulus package. De Blasio warned that medical professionals in New York are in danger of being furloughed
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said Saturday on Fox News Channel that if the reopning of the economy goes better than expected ‘there is a chance that we won’t really need a phase four’
Hassett appeared Saturday morning on Fox News Channel and suggested the administration’s approach to a so-called ‘phase four’ stimulus package was to wait and see.
‘I think right now, because there’s been good news really, that the opening up is starting to happen faster than we expected, appears to be doing so safely, then there is a chance that we won’t really need a phase four,’ Hassett said.
De Blasio countered that for New York, which has been the epicenter of the outbreak in the United, that’s already not the case, calling Hassett’s comments an ‘absolute misunderstanding’ of the financial situation impacting hard-hit cities and communities.
The Democratic mayor said the city is $7.1 billion in the hole.
De Blasio said without additional stimulus dollars, the doctors and nurses employed by the public hospitals in the city could be furloughed.
‘If we don’t get help from Washington, that is what will happen,’ de Blasio warned.
Trump has been reluctant to sign off on federal dollars going to cities and states, turning it into a red-state versus blue-state debate. He’s suggested that some blue states, like Illinois, that need cash have simply been mismanaged by Democrats in government.
He’s also floated attaching policy priorities, like ridding the country of so-called ‘sanctuary cities,’ to future money going toward state and local governments’ budgets.
Asked about a ‘phase four’ package on Sunday, Larry Kudlow, the National Economic Council Director, made comments that were similar to what Hassett had said the day before.
‘There’s kind of a pause period right now,’ Kudlow said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’ ‘There may well be additional legislation.’
But Kudlow said government officials are trying to implement the packages already passed by Congress and signed off by the president.
‘So I guess what I would say to you, at this particular juncture, let’s execute the continuation of what we have already done,’ Kudlow said. ‘Let’s see what the results are.’
And while the Senate returns to Washington Monday, the House of Representatives – on the advice of the Attending Physician of the United States Congress – has decided to delay lawmakers coming back to Washington, D.C., which still hasn’t seen a decrease in coronavirus cases.
Democrats have argued that it makes no sense to come back to Washington when details for a ‘phase four’ package have yet to be worked out.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted on bringing the Senate back in session so they can get back into the confirmation business.