Trump Wants Pandemic Relief Legislation to Include Direct Payments to Public – Mnuchin

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announces no payroll tax cut after White House concedes to GOP

Image Credits: Drew Angerer / Staff / Getty.

With scant support among Senate Republicans, the White House has agreed to nix a payroll tax cut which President Trump had previously insisted on for the next round of coronavirus relief.

“It won’t be in the base bill,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a Thursday interview with CNBC, while noting that it might be included in future pandemic relief legislation. Mnuchin added that the White House and Senate GOP now have a ‘fundamental agreement.’

Mr. Mnuchin said the president preferred that the legislation include direct payments to the public, arguing that such a measure offers more immediate benefits to people struggling as a result of the economic fallout from the pandemic.

“He wants to get money into people’s pockets now because we need to reopen the economy,” Mr. Mnuchin said, referring to the president. “One of the issues I think you know about the payroll tax cut is people get that money over time. So, the president’s preference is to make sure that we send out direct payments quickly.”WSJ

After months of arguing in favor of the payroll tax cut, Trump began to signal that he was willing to drop the issue earlier this week, saying “We’re talking about a lot of things, not just the payroll-tax cut.”

According to the Journal, “Economists and lawmakers in both parties were skeptical about a payroll tax cut, saying it would be inefficient at this moment because it isn’t targeted at the problems in the labor market. They said it wouldn’t provide a large enough incentive for hiring and retaining workers and that it would do little for those who aren’t working.”

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