Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that he “can’t speculate” as to whether another stimulus bill will pass in the near-term, days after negotiations came to a stalemate. He also called for a capital gains tax cut and made a rare (for him) criticism of Joe Biden’s economic policies.
“I can’t speculate. If the Democrats are willing to be reasonable, there is a compromise. If the Democrats are focused on politics and don't want to do anything that's going to succeed for the President, there won't be a deal,” Mnuchin said during an appearance on Fox Business.
He railed against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who he said are “just not willing to compromise.”
His message to negotiators: “Let’s do this,” suggesting that there could be an approximately $1 trillion bill now and perhaps another later this year or in early 2021.
“This will be the fifth bill, we can always come back later in the year, or in January, and do a sixth bill, we don't need to do everything at once… Our view is, let's spend a little over a trillion dollars on areas of the economy that are going to be very impactful now, that we can agree on. And if we need to do more, we'll come back and do more and work together but now is the time to have bipartisan support,” he said.
Mnuchin also reiterated the President’s suggestion that the administration is considering a capital gains tax cut, which would require legislation.
“Well, the President like would like to do, capital gains tax cuts and we do need legislation to do what we want on that front,” he said, going on to explain how previous similar cuts stimulated economic investment.
“That's what we need now because of Covid. So I think for the next few years while we recover, we should reduce those capital gains,” he added, going on to, in an unusual move for Mnuchin, criticize Joe Biden for voting against a capital gains reduction in 2003 and drawing contrasts on policy with the Democratic ticket.
“So again you see two very different economic policies. One is tax more and hurt the economy, one is create selective tax cuts regulatory relief and economic agenda trades that will stimulate the economy,” he said.