Treasury spokeswoman Monica Crowley joined SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight, where she discussed the Congressional negotiations taking place regarding a next phase coronavirus relief package.
“The administration’s priorities are restoring jobs back to the economy and back to the American people and getting our kids back to school,” Crowley told host and Breitbart News Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle. “This next economic relief package is focused on jobs and kids. … It’s really got a couple of fundamental elements to it. First is the unemployment insurance.”
Crowley went on to say, “Rather than spend months and months trying to get state unemployment offices their technology and their infrastructure aligned to do individual calculations for each individual person, we realized that wasn’t gonna fly because we needed to move fast. So, that’s why we got the $600 blanket amount for everybody. But, now that time has passed and the economy is slowly and safely reopening, we now have a realization that we don’t want to incentivize people from going back to work. So the negotiations are really centered, at least on the UI portion of this, on what number sends. Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin has talked about 70 percent wage replacement. … So, seventy percent of what you had been making before you lost your job. Because state unemployment offices can’t move that fast, or so they tell us. The conversation now is a $200 blanket amount over a two month transition period to when the states get online and do the individual calculations. So, that’s where we are with UI.”
In addition to her remarks on negotiations regarding unemployment information, Crowley said they are discussing “other moving parts like another round of stimulus checks.”
“They’re looking at doing the same thing again, $1200 and liability protections for businesses, hospitals, healthcare workers, so they’re protected against being sued, which is a Leader McConnell redline. And then educational funding,” Crowley said. “We want to make sure our kids can go back to school in a healthy and safe way.”
Crowley said many schools are eager to reopen and welcome kids, but they want to make sure they have the funds to properly keep the facility sanitized.
“You’ll recall, in early March when the virus was really spreading around the world and came to the shores of the United States, nobody quite knew what this virus was,” Crowley said. “It’s the novel coronavirus. Nobody had ever seen it before. In those early days, we could only go on what we were getting from the Chinese, which was unreliable information to say the least.”
Crowley went on to say, “Nobody really knew how it was going to behave. Nobody knew if this was like ebola, where you’re basically dead in 72 hours, or if it was a more extreme flu or something in between. Nobody knew. So, when we decided to close the economy, and Secretary Mnuchin has often said that that was perhaps the most difficult decision the president of the United States had to make. It was a government-mandated action to lock down the country and close the entire U.S. economy. Given that emergency declaration and mandate, the government also then realized that it needed to step in and fill the void through individual support, support for our great small businesses, larger industry businesses, and businesses of all sizes, etc.”
“So [Democrats] came up with these very innovative and creative plans, yet there is a heavy price tag on it,” Crowley said of Democrat plans to assist those suffering financial hardship during the pandemic. “We’re looking at over three trillion dollars that have been pumped into the economy since fiscal and monetary stimulus. There was no incentive structure in those early days. There wasn’t because there was no economy.”
“Now that we have a better handle on how this virus behaves and who’s most vulnerable and how to spot it, we’ve begun to reopen the economy,” Crowley said. “Some places are further along than others in the country. The virus has proven resilient. Now you actually do have an infrastructure that’s kicking back in, because the economy is kicking back in.”
“President Trump had pro-gross economic policies in place pre-COVID,” Crowley stated, which she considered to be an “important” note. “Those pro-gross economic policies are still in place. They were put on pause for a couple of months because the virus was running rampant, but now they’re kicking back in.”
“I’m talking about regulatory relief,” Crowley added. “I’m talking about clear, fair reciprocal trade deals like the North American trade deal, like the USMCA, like our bilateral trade agreements with Japan and South Korea, and we’re working on one with the U.K. I’m talking about phase one with China, all of the things unleashing the energy sector, all of those things that delivered a booming economy.”
Crowley concluded the interview by ensuring the American people that the treasury department is working to provide the best economy possible amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Crowley also noted that the department had “just crossed five million small businesses that took [Paycheck Protection Program] loans.”
“Who knows what the end product is going to be, because you’re negotiating with the Democrats. But we hope that it will be a combination of economic relief and support, as well as a package that has some growth incentives to it as well,” Crowley said.