As was expected, Monday (July 20) was an important day regarding the next stimulus package. There were closed-door discussions on what the next relief package should include. Detailed below are the discussions that took place on Monday with regard to the coronavirus stimulus package and checks.
On Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met President Donald Trump and his advisers at the White House.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, McCarthy said there were discussions on the payroll tax cut and another round of coronavirus stimulus checks to Americans. McCarthy did not share specific details on both the provisions, according to USAToday
When asked if the Senate’s version of the stimulus bill, which could arrive sometime this week, would include a payroll tax cut, McConnell did not offer any clear answer as well.
“What we're going to do is follow up the discussion at the White House with a discussion at noon tomorrow with our members, see if we can develop kind of a common approach to this on our side. And then begin to reach out to the Democrats,” McConnell said.
If a payroll tax cut is included in the next stimulus package, it may prove one of the most controversial decisions. Until now, GOP lawmakers have resisted Trump’s proposal of a payroll tax cut.
President Trump, however, believes such a provision could provide a boost to the economy. "I think it’s an incentive for companies to hire their workers back and to keep their workers," Trump told reporters yesterday.
Also, a few days back, Trump suggested that he may veto the stimulus bill if it does not include a payroll tax.
Will stimulus bill be $1 trillion or $3 trillion?
Mnuchin, on Monday, also said that they would start the negotiations at the $1 trillion mark. This number is far lower than the over $3 trillion HEROES Act passed by the Democrat-backed House in May. Mnuchin also suggested that they would favor a reduction in the unemployment benefits.
“We're going to make sure that we don't pay people more money to stay at home (than) go to work," he said. “We'll have tax credits that incentivize businesses to bring people back to work."
Further, he noted that discussions on the next stimulus package would continue Tuesday as well. Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff, are expected to visit the Senate Republicans' weekly lunch at the Capitol. After these negotiations, Mnuchin said they would start the discussions with Democrats.
The discussions with the Democrats are expected to largely focus on the next coronavirus stimulus checks. McConnell's package could include $1,200 in direct payments to Americans, but the income cap could be lower than before. Speculations are that the income cap could be at $40,000. Democrats, on the other hand, would negotiate for a higher income cap.