President Trump on Tuesday proposed eliminating the payroll tax until the end of the year to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus. A few different timelines were discussed during a closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers, with some talk of the rollback stretching beyond 2020, officials tell NBC News, adding Trump favors a cut that would last at least until November. Payroll taxes are paid by employers and employees to fund Social Security and Medicare. Employees pay 6.2% on the first $137,700 of their income for Social Security, and 1.45% of all their earned income for Medicare, with employers matching those amounts. Under the Obama administration, the Social Security payroll tax was temporarily cut to 4.2%, per CNN. The idea of a 0% payroll tax rate is reportedly being met with resistance from Republican senators, per CNBC.
Officials tell the Wall Street Journal that the April 15 tax deadline is also likely to be extended, though a specific date hasn't been decided, nor is it clear who would qualify for the extension. Republicans also discussed federal assistance for the shale oil industry, which is suffering as a result of a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. "They are talking about specific industries that would be hurt the worst and to try and get first of all this payroll tax deduction," GOP Sen. David Perdue of Georgia tells NBC. "That's at the top of my list as having immediate impact," but "if you're not getting paid, that doesn't help." Any economic stimulus plan would need to be approved by Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that Democrats were working on a plan of their own. (Read more President Trump stories.)