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Grassley considering options for targeted tax relief over coronavirus

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyLoeffler to continue to self-isolate after conflicting COVID-19 test results Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection More GOP governors embrace mask mandates, but holdouts remain MORE (R-Iowa) is looking into options for possible targeted tax relief as a response to the coronavirus, a spokesman for the senator said Monday.

"While we continue to assess the economic impacts, Chairman Grassley is exploring the possibility of targeted tax relief measures that could provide a timely and effective response to the coronavirus," Grassley spokesman Michael Zona said. "Several options within the committee’s jurisdiction are being considered as we learn more about the effects on specific industries and the overall economy."

Grassley's statement comes as the White House has also been weighing ways to mitigate any economic impact of the outbreak.

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White House National Economic Council Director Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE said Friday that the administration was considering targeted relief to affected workers and businesses. And Trump has encouraged House Democrats to propose a temporary payroll tax cut.

When asked about a payroll tax holiday Monday afternoon, Grassley told reporters, “You’d have to start out, if you’re going to have an honest discussion, with everything being on the table.”

Democrats, however, have said that worker safety should be a priority over tax cuts for businesses. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS economy hurtles toward 'COVID cliff' with programs set to expire Democrats gear up for last oversight showdown with Trump Divided citizenry and government — a call to action for common ground MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNew York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn Biden congratulates Pelosi on Speaker nomination Senate Democrats introduce bill to shore up PPE supply MORE (D-N.Y.) said over the weekend that top priorities should include paid sick leave, enhanced unemployment insurance and widespread and free coronavirus testing.

"In light of reports that the Trump administration is considering new tax cuts for major corporations impacted by the coronavirus, we are demanding that the administration prioritize the health and safety of American workers and their families over corporate interests," Pelosi and Schumer said.

- Alex Bolton contributed to this report, which was updated at 3:50 p.m.