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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 DainesClimate change — Trump's golden opportunity Steve Bullock raises .8 million in third quarter for Montana Senate bid Overnight Defense: National Guard says no federal requests for election security help | Dems accuse VA head of misusing resources | Army official links COVID-19 to troop suicides 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 John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus 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.

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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 Terner MnuchinSchumer labels McConnell's scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as 'a stunt' Pelosi: White House made 'unacceptable changes' to testing language during negotiations on coronavirus stimulus Mnuchin joins Israeli delegation in Bahrain to formally normalize relations 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 BluntGOP vows quick confirmation of Trump's Supreme Court pick amid coronavirus turmoil This week: Coronavirus complicates Senate's Supreme Court fight Schumer demands Senate coronavirus testing program after Trump diagnosis 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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyRepublicans: Supreme Court won't toss ObamaCare Barrett sidesteps Democratic questions amid high-stakes grilling Democrats warn of ObamaCare threat from Barrett, Trump MORE (R-Iowa) is looking at a "targeted" tax package, though some GOP senators, including Sens. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' Changing suburbs threaten GOP hold on Texas Republicans increasingly seek distance from Trump MORE (Texas) and Mike BraunMichael BraunGOP lawmakers gloomy, back on defense after debate fiasco Romney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' Supreme Court fight pushes Senate toward brink 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.