Congress has already passed trillions of dollars in unprecedented regulatory relief in response to the pandemic, but the magnitude of the devastation caused by the crisis has prompted lawmakers to consider a new round of aid. Several states have started lifting their home-home orders
and reopening their economies, despite the fact that health experts have advised otherwise and tests are not yet readily available.
"I think right now, because there has been really good news, that the opening is starting to happen faster than we expected, seems to make it so safe, then there's a chance we won't need any phase four," it said Hassett on Fox News Saturday morning.
Negotiations are ongoing
over a fourth stimulus package – or "phase four" of the coronavirus response – and Democratic leaders in Congress have made it clear that a top priority for them is funding for states and localities.
In a talk with reporters after his interview on Fox News, Hassett said a potential phase four agreement could be aimed at "growing and taking off and recovering, rather than just building a bridge for improvement."
President Donald Trump said earlier this week
that he would consider funding for states in a potential "phase four" stimulus package, but that "we want to take a break" before passing such a package.
He argued that Republicans are in a much better negotiating position on funding for states, and if they agree to that, Republicans must "get something for it."
On Saturday, Hassett said state aid "will be a political issue that will be worked out" between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. He added that Trump "is absolutely against bailouts."
As for the prospect of the US economy reopening, Hassett predicted that "almost every state will be open financially" probably by the end of May.
He said financial figures over the next few months will be "as bad as you've ever seen" and repeated some of his gloomy predictions about the economic impact
of Covid-19 that he made this past week.
Hassett said unemployment could rise to 19% and GDP loss for the second quarter could be as high as 40%.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper last Sunday
that state and local authorities will receive aid "in a very important way."
Republicans have decided that more money for states must come together with liability protection for businesses and health professionals from potential lawsuits.
The senators and their staff will return to Washington this week, but lawmakers in the House on Tuesday reversed his plans
to return to Capitol Hill this week.
CNN's Clare Foran and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.