Trump administration open to more coronavirus aid for states but not a 'bailout': Kudlow

The president has 'consistently' rejected bailouts to states, Larry Kudlow said

The Trump administration is open to more coronavirus-related aid for states but not bailouts of "bad management," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Wednesday.

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"The president has rejected [bailouts] very steadily and consistently. This is not about bailing out pensions, it’s not about bailing bad management," Kudlow told "Varney & Co." "However, we are not opposed to some assistance, federal assistance with respect, for example, to COVID-related equipment or construction or renovation, especially, I say this again, opening schools and opening businesses."

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, right, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrive at the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol to resume talks on a COVID-19 relief bill, Aug. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

House Democrats' HEROES Act passed in May includes $915 billion in flexible aid to state and local governments, according to the Tax Foundation. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that was too much.

"There's clearly been costs states and local governments have incurred because of COVID," Mnuchin told "Mornings with Maria." "In our first bill, we gave them $150 billion. That's more than enough ... to pay firefighters, policemen, first responders, medical workers."

"Most of that money has not been spent," Mnuchin said.

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Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were unable to strike a deal with congressional Democrats to pass another round of coronavirus relief, and President Trump then moved to accomplish some of his goals via executive order. Republicans are willing to pony up another $150 billion for states and local governments, Mnuchin said.

"As part of our compromise proposal to the Democrats, we'll create flexibility but they can't use that money to bail out pensions. ... We want to make sure that money gets down to cities and counties," Mnuchin said Wednesday.

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