President Trump meets with GOP leaders to discuss stimulus bill
Jul 22 2020
GOP senators swiftly pushed back as the Republicans and the White House battle over priorities.
On Monday, President Trump met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the White House to work on a strategy to provide relief to Americans. "The payroll tax cut to me is very important, we're working on it".
In March, Congress authorized a wave of direct $1,200 payments for individuals earning up to $75,000 a year, plus $500 for each dependent child.
Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas told reporters that he "is not sure" that another round of payments is "the best use of money", and argued that previous stimulus controls, in his opinion, were one. temporary measure.
The package from McConnell, being crafted behind closed doors, is expected to include $75 billion to help schools reopen. "We need to carve out a 'new normal'".
In May, House Democrats proposed a $3 trillion relief package that included an extension of the $600 weekly payment into 2021. It has been debated within the Republican ranks whether checks should be more directly directed at low-income people, but it remains an open question. "A total collapse at the top of the ticket, Republican strategists and donors agree, would only make holding the Senate harder", The Times noted.
But the president's priorities are splitting his GOP allies in Congress giving momentum to Democrats as talks are underway.
Easing the payroll tax is dividing Trump's party because it is used to finance Social Security and Medicare.
The president on Monday laid down markers for what he thinks a new coronavirus stimulus bill should include, and not only were they all over the map (including a cut in funding for coronavirus testing and a temporary payroll tax cut), but this scattershot approach also might end up hurting the chances for the inclusion of something millions of Americans are desperate for: New stimulus checks. Democrats have voiced strong opposition to a payroll tax cut. Employers pay an equivalent tax for each worker. Supporters say cutting it now for employees would put money in people's pockets and stimulate the economy, but detractors warn it would do little for out-of-work Americans and add to the nation's rising debt load. But the administration criticized the legislation's money for more virus testing and insisted on a payroll tax cut that could complicate quick passage.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday the administration wants "targeted" funds for the next round of aid, rather than adding more to the existing pot. Senate Democrats are investigating why the administration has left so much on the table.
Speaking from the Senate floor Tuesday morning, Schumer called the GOP's ideas "inadequate" and said Republicans are "paralyzed by internal divisions among themselves, and by divisions with the president".
The political stakes are high for both parties before the November election, and even more so for the nation, which now has registered more coronavirus infections and a higher death count of 140,800 than any other country. "But maintaining the Senate is an urgent imperative for the G.O.P.: A Democratic Senate could offer a glide path for liberal Supreme Court nominees from a President Biden, or block Mr. Trump's judges if he won a second term". The new package should "deliver a lifeline to those who need it most: working families and small businesses", he said. He announced plans to relaunch his daily televised briefings.
Trump raised alarms on Capitol Hill when he suggested last month at a rally in Oklahoma that he wanted to slow virus testing. Both sides say they aim to have a deal worked out by the end of next week.
U.S. Congress has provided roughly 2.9 trillion dollars in fiscal support for households, businesses, healthcare providers, and state and local governments, to blunt the economic impact resulted from the pandemic.
Despite flickers of an economic upswing as states eased stay-at-home orders in May and June, a federal ban on evictions from millions of rental units is about to expire and the jobless rate has remained in double digits, higher than it ever was in the last decade's Great Recession.