Administration

Trump to pitch Republicans on economic response to coronavirus

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President Trump will attend the Senate Republican conference’s lunch Tuesday afternoon to discuss potential economic measures to stem the fallout of the coronavirus.

An administration official confirmed that Trump, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and trade adviser Peter Navarro will make the trip down Pennsylvania Avenue for the meeting. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow are also expected to attend.

Trump is expected to pitch GOP senators on his proposals for boosting an uncertain economy as the coronavirus rattles financial markets and leaves Americans on edge. The president said a day earlier that he would push for a payroll tax cut, relief for hourly workers and support for small businesses. Targeted relief for industries hardest hit could also be considered.

But the administration may have to convince lawmakers reluctant to take up some of those measures, several of which stand little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled House.

White House officials and some Republicans have been hesitant to embrace a payroll tax cut or temporary suspension, which would require congressional approval. Democrats have balked at the idea entirely, questioning how it would benefit low-wage earners and vulnerable populations.

The specifics of Trump’s plan remain unclear, though the president promised to hold a news conference on Tuesday to discuss “major” economic initiatives.

House Democrats are expected to pitch their own plan that would include paid sick leave for workers who need to self-quarantine due to the coronavirus; enhanced unemployment insurance for those who lose their jobs from the economic impact related to the epidemic; and free coronavirus testing to help control its spread.

More than 700 people in the U.S. have contracted the coronavirus, including those repatriated from China and a cruise ship, and 27 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Jared Kushner Larry Kudlow Steven Mnuchin
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