GOP signals Trump’s payroll-tax cut in Republican coronavirus bill — for now

GOP signals Trump’s payroll-tax cut in Republican coronavirus bill — for now

Top administration officials signaled on Monday night that a payroll-tax cut, a top priority for President TrumpDonald John TrumpKanye West says Harriet Tubman ‘never actually freed the slaves’ at rally Trump-Afghan deal passes key deadline, but peace elusive GOP governors in hardest hit states split over COVID-19 response MORE, is in the forthcoming Republican coronavirus aid proposal, at least for now.

Asked if the payroll-tax cut had to be in the Republican bill, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump says he might not sign coronavirus bill without payroll tax cut On The Money: Enhanced unemployment insurance likely to expire during COVID-19 aid talks | Trump says he won’t issue national mask mandate | Mnuchin: Hardest-hit businesses should be able to get second PPP payment Travel industry calls for targeted relief amid coronavirus pandemic MORE told reporters “it’s in the bill.”

“So we’ll see,” he added. “We look forward to meeting with everybody.” 

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump says he might not sign coronavirus bill without payroll tax cut Trump turns White House into backdrop for political events Sunday shows preview: Trump, lawmakers weigh in on COVID-19, masks and school reopenings amid virus surge MORE, asked about the payroll-tax cut, added that it “plans to be in it.”

“I mean, that’s part of the proposal,” he added.

The administration is pushing to include a payroll-tax cut in the fifth coronavirus aid package. Trump publicly pitched the idea during a meeting at the White House on Monday with Mnuchin, Meadows, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthySunday shows preview: Trump, lawmakers weigh in on COVID-19, masks and school reopenings amid virus surge McCarthy on Roger Stone: ‘Commuting him was correct’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Cook shifts 20 House races toward Democrats MORE (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats call for McConnell to bring Voting Rights Act to floor in honor of Lewis Trump mocks push to rename Fort Bragg: ‘We’re going to name it after the Rev. Al Sharpton?’ GOP looks at reducing unemployment enhancement to 0-0 per week: report MORE (R-Ky.). 

“I think it’s a very important thing. …I think it’s an incentive for companies to hire their workers back. … A payroll-tax cut to me is very important,” he told reporters. 

McCarthy told reporters after the meeting that the payroll-tax cut would be in the forthcoming GOP bill. Talk of including the payroll-tax cut in the Republican proposal is largely fluid, with a GOP bill not yet released.

Republicans and the White House are still negotiating among themselves. Mnuchin and Meadows are set to brief the Republican conference during a closed-door Tuesday lunch. They will also meet again with a smaller group of GOP senators and have their first meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHow a progressive populist appears to have toppled Engel MJ Hegar wins Democratic battle to challenge John Cornyn Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWallace confronts Trump on ‘mean tweets’ about him and Fox News Pelosi, Blumenaur condemn ‘egregious abuses of power’ by Trump against Oregon protestors Graham on the passing of Lewis: ‘He lived a consequential life’ MORE (D-Calif.). 

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP coronavirus proposal takes shape US praises British ban on China’s Huawei after pressure campaign GOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle MORE (R-S.D.) said that he personally doesn’t support including the payroll-tax cut in the next coronavirus aid package, but floated that it could be in the initial version of the Republican bill. 

“I would say that it is a big priority, as you know, for the President. And so his advocates, Mnuchin and Meadows and others, I think will probably try and ensure that it’s at least included in the first draft,” Thune said, before laughing. “Let’s put it that way.” 

Asked if that meant it could come out later, Thune added that “there are a lot of Republicans who don’t like it for a lot of different reasons.” 

McConnell said the talk on Tuesday would be focused on seeing “if we can develop kind of a common approach to this on our side.” He sidestepped a question about including the payroll-tax cut. 

Several GOP senators, including Thune, indicated earlier Monday that they did not think including the payroll-tax cut was a good idea.

“Go to the fact that Social Security people think we’re raiding the Social Security fund. And we are raiding it, but we have always put in general fund revenue in it so it is made whole. But that creates — it might create political problems — but it creates a public relations problem,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGraham releases newly declassified documents on Russia probe Senate GOP set to ramp up Obama-era probes White House: Trump thinks payroll tax cut ‘must’ be part of next COVID-19 relief package MORE (R-Iowa) told reporters.