Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said lawmakers should not worry about increasing the country’s deficit or the Fed’s balance sheet when discussing another coronavirus relief package.
During a Monday appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Mnuchin said the current state of the economy warrants additional stimulus from Congress and the Fed.
“Now is not the time to worry about shrinking the deficit or shrinking the Fed balance sheet,” Mnuchin said. “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.”
He credited the relief measures taken so far by lawmakers and the Federal Reserve for helping the economy amid the pandemic.
He noted that “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.”
Still, Mnuchin pushed for another relief package even though he noted that the economy is “rebounding in a very, very significant way.”
He has been working with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on the Trump administration’s relief negotiations.
Lawmakers have been deadlocked on what the next aid package should look like and how much it should cost.
On Monday, Mnuchin said he is willing to work with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a new deal.
“I think there’s many areas of this where is an agreement between the Democrats and the Republicans, and some of the areas we do have differences on the amounts,” he said. “But I will continue to work on this: I’ve told the Speaker I’m available any time to negotiate.”
He said he anticipates that the Problem Solvers Caucus will produce a stimulus proposal on Monday.
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