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GOP signals Trump's payroll-tax cut in Republican coronavirus bill — for now

Top administration officials signaled on Monday night that a payroll-tax cut, a top priority for President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors MORE, is in the forthcoming Republican coronavirus aid proposal, at least for now.

Asked if the payroll-tax cut had to be in the Republican bill, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE told reporters "it's in the bill."

"So we'll see," he added. "We look forward to meeting with everybody." 

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White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here MORE, asked about the payroll-tax cut, added that it "plans to be in it."

"I mean, that’s part of the proposal," he added.

The administration is pushing to include a payroll-tax cut in the fifth coronavirus aid package. Trump publicly pitched the idea during a meeting at the White House on Monday with Mnuchin, Meadows, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyGOP braces for wild week with momentous vote GOP divided over expected Cheney ouster McCarthy says he supports Stefanik for House GOP conference chair MORE (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP braces for wild week with momentous vote GOP divided over expected Cheney ouster Sunday shows - White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is 'turning the corner' MORE (R-Ky.). 

"I think it's a very important thing. ...I think it's an incentive for companies to hire their workers back. ... A payroll-tax cut to me is very important," he told reporters. 

McCarthy told reporters after the meeting that the payroll-tax cut would be in the forthcoming GOP bill. Talk of including the payroll-tax cut in the Republican proposal is largely fluid, with a GOP bill not yet released.

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Republicans and the White House are still negotiating among themselves. Mnuchin and Meadows are set to brief the Republican conference during a closed-door Tuesday lunch. They will also meet again with a smaller group of GOP senators and have their first meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' Biden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' McCarthy says he supports Stefanik for House GOP conference chair Ode to Mother's Day MORE (D-Calif.). 

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP braces for wild week with momentous vote Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women Trump muddles Republican messaging on Afghanistan MORE (R-S.D.) said that he personally doesn't support including the payroll-tax cut in the next coronavirus aid package, but floated that it could be in the initial version of the Republican bill. 

"I would say that it is a big priority, as you know, for the President. And so his advocates, Mnuchin and Meadows and others, I think will probably try and ensure that it's at least included in the first draft," Thune said, before laughing. "Let's put it that way." 

Asked if that meant it could come out later, Thune added that "there are a lot of Republicans who don't like it for a lot of different reasons." 

McConnell said the talk on Tuesday would be focused on seeing "if we can develop kind of a common approach to this on our side." He sidestepped a question about including the payroll-tax cut. 

Several GOP senators, including Thune, indicated earlier Monday that they did not think including the payroll-tax cut was a good idea.

"Go to the fact that Social Security people think we're raiding the Social Security fund. And we are raiding it, but we have always put in general fund revenue in it so it is made whole. But that creates — it might create political problems — but it creates a public relations problem," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley asks Blinken to provide potential conflicts involving John Kerry Overnight Defense: Gillibrand makes new push for military sexual assault reform | US troops begin leaving Afghanistan | Biden budget delay pushes back annual defense policy bill Gillibrand makes new push for military sexual assault reform MORE (R-Iowa) told reporters.