Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 25, 2020.
Alex Edelman—CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images
October 11, 2020 11:09 AM EDT

A fiscal stimulus deal isn’t essential to the U.S. recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, though the Trump administration and Congressional Democrats will keep talking, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.

“Well no, I don’t think it’s dead at all,” Kudlow said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “All I’m saying is some targeted assistance would go a long way right now.”

Capping a week of shifting signals from President Donald Trump on the amount of stimulus and how to get there, Kudlow said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may increase the administration’s offer in talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Kudlow was asked about Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s call last week for more government spending to protect the recovery.

“It’s just getting Americans through a difficult period of time,” Kudlow said. “I don’t want to parse, but I don’t think the recovery is dependent on it.”

The U.S. will post strong economic growth in the third and fourth quarters, he said, bouncing back from the historic dive in the second quarter.

He didn’t elaborate or suggest a clear path to addressing opposition among Senate Republicans. Mnuchin and Pelosi are expected to continue talks this week, he said. Mnuchin headed into the latest talks on Friday with a White House offer of $1.8 trillion in economic stimulus. House Democrats have passed a $2.2 trillion proposal.

–With assistance from Teaganne Finn.

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