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Republicans Ditch Key Trump Demand in New Aid Package

Payroll tax cut won't be in 'base bill'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2020 9:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Republicans have jettisoned one of President Trump's key demands even before the start of negotiations with Democrats over the next coronavirus stimulus package. Senate Republicans, who are planning to unveil the package Thursday, decided not to include the payroll tax cut the president has been calling for, the Washington Post reports. Trump said Sunday he would consider refusing to sign any package that didn't include the cut, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin admitted Thursday that it won't be in the "base bill." The Republican plan is expected to include another round of $1,200 checks, as well as around $70 billion for schools—half of which will be tied to reopening.

Mnuchin told CNBC Thursday morning that the tax cut is a "very good, pro-growth policy" that the administration will keep pushing for, but Trump "wants to get money into people's pockets now because we need to reopen the economy." He said the GOP plan will replace the extra $600 per week unemployment benefit, which is due to expire at the end of this month, with "approximately 70% wage replacement." "We're not going to continue it in its current form because we're not going to pay people more money to stay at home than work, but we want to make sure that the people that are out there that can't find jobs do get a reasonable wage replacement," Mnuchin said, per the Hill. House Democrats passed a $3 trillion relief package in May. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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