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 DainesHouse punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat 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 TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points 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 MnuchinHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues On The Money: Senate Dems pump brakes on new stimulus checks | Trump officials sued over tax refunds | Fed to soon open small-business lending program Schumer slams Trump's Rose Garden briefing on China as 'pathetic' MORE and National Economic Council Director Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE.

"I think they're going to bring up a number of ideas, and we'll see how they go," Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntWashington prepares for a summer without interns GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill Senators weigh traveling amid coronavirus ahead of Memorial Day 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 GrassleyExpanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support Grassley, Leahy urge Roberts to permanently air Supreme Court arguments Democrats broaden probe into firing of State Department watchdog MORE (R-Iowa) is looking at a "targeted" tax package, though some GOP senators, including Sens. John CornynJohn CornynGOP senators urge Trump not to restrict guest worker visas Castro, Warren, Harris to speak at Texas Democratic virtual convention Democratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight MORE (Texas) and Mike BraunMichael BraunGOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill Hillicon Valley: Trump threatens Michigan, Nevada over mail-in voting | Officials call for broadband expansion during pandemic | Democrats call for investigation into Uber-Grubhub deal Republicans introduce bill to create legal 'safe harbor' for gig companies during the pandemic 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.