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 DainesSenate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Senate GOP seeks bipartisan panel to investigate Afghanistan withdrawal Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack 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 TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups 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 MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Former Treasury secretaries tried to resolve debt limit impasse in talks with McConnell, Yellen: report Menendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS 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 BluntHartzler pulls in 6,000 for Missouri Senate bid with .65M on hand McConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit 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 GrassleyLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Fill the Eastern District of Virginia  MORE (R-Iowa) is looking at a "targeted" tax package, though some GOP senators, including Sens. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn raises more than M for Senate GOP Is the Biden administration afraid of trade? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (Texas) and Mike BraunMichael BraunBottom line Biden taps former Indiana Sen. Donnelly as ambassador to Vatican GOP tries to take filibuster pressure off Manchin, Sinema 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.