GOP senator backs paid leave, payroll tax cut amid coronavirus concerns

GOP senator backs paid leave, payroll tax cut amid coronavirus concerns
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesBiden recommits US to Paris climate accord Yellen champions big spending at confirmation hearing McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE (R-Mont.) on Monday unveiled a handful of proposals that he said Congress and the administration should enact amid growing concerns about the coronavirus's impact on the economy.

“I will be working with the Trump administration, Congressional Leadership, and Republicans and Democrats in both chambers to ensure these priorities are addressed and put forward to help protect public health and the economy during the Coronavirus outbreak," Daines, who is up for reelection, said in a statement.

Among the list of proposals outlined by Daines on Monday are ideas backed by President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE, including a temporary suspension of the payroll tax, as well as top priorities for Democrats like reducing hurdles to being tested and providing for 14 days of paid leave for individuals impacted by the coronavirus.


Daines is also floating a temporary suspension of tariffs in an effort to try to stabilize the markets, which have been thrown into chaos amid concerns about a widespread coronavirus outbreak within the United States.

The proposal comes as Congress is grappling with what additional steps to take to combat the coronavirus after passing $8.3 billion in funding next week. 

GOP senators say they will discuss potential next steps during a closed-door lunch on Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinPence delivers coronavirus task force report to Biden Treasury imposes additional sanctions on Cuba over allegations of 'serious human rights abuse' Treasury Department sanctions inner circle of Russian agent Derkach for election interference MORE and National Economic Council Director Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE.

"I think they're going to bring up a number of ideas, and we'll see how they go," Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntCongressional leaders present Biden, Harris with flags flown during inauguration LIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing The Hill's Morning Report - President Biden, Vice President Harris begin work today MORE (R-Mo.) told reporters after a leadership meeting on Monday night.

Lawmakers are discussing whether they need to pass new tax cuts or a broader economic stimulus package. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFinance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday Democrats swear in three senators to gain majority Yellen champions big spending at confirmation hearing MORE (R-Iowa) is looking at a "targeted" tax package, though some GOP senators, including Sens. John CornynJohn CornynDemocrats torn on impeachment trial timing McConnell keeps GOP guessing on Trump impeachment Schumer: Trump should not be eligible to run for office again MORE (Texas) and Mike BraunMichael BraunSenate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Top Republican congressional aide resigns, rips GOP lawmakers who objected to Biden win Congress affirms Biden win after rioters terrorize Capitol MORE (Ind.), indicated they thought it was too soon.

Trump, meanwhile, said he will ask Congress to approve a payroll tax cut and relief for hourly workers.

“This was something that we were thrown into and we’re going to handle it, and we have been handling it,” Trump told reporters in the White House briefing room.