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Grassley considering options for targeted tax relief over coronavirus

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyHouse unveils antitrust package to rein in tech giants Iowa governor questions lack of notice on migrant children flights to Des Moines Senate crafts Pelosi alternative on drug prices 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 PelosiNew Mexico Democrat Stansbury sworn into Haaland's old seat Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust Overnight Health Care: Biden pleads for more people to get vaccinated | Harris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety | Novavax COVID-19 vaccine shown highly effective in trial MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIn Congress, what goes on behind closed doors? Senate Judiciary begins investigation into DOJ lawmaker subpoenas America needs a stable Israeli government 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.