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On The Money: House Dems push huge jobs project in wake of coronavirus | Trump leans on businesses in virus response | Lawmakers press IRS to get relief checks to seniors

On The Money: House Dems push huge jobs project in wake of coronavirus | Trump leans on businesses in virus response | Lawmakers press IRS to get relief checks to seniors

Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL--House Democrats push huge jobs project in wake of coronavirus: House Democratic leaders are racing ahead with plans for another round of massive coronavirus relief, focusing on a huge job-creation package over objections from Republicans wary of spending more on an already unprecedented stimulus effort.

  • The Democratic plan aims to fill holes in the first three coronavirus bills, providing new funding for hard-hit states; ensuring that medical providers have ample supplies; and expanding paid leave for home-bound workers.
  • But the main goal of the emerging legislation is a boost to infrastructure funding designed both to create jobs amid the economic downturn and bolster the nation's health, transportation, broadband and education systems.

The Hill's Mike Lillis breaks down the Democratic plan here.

 

Unclear prospects: The Democrats' pitch got a huge boost on Tuesday, when President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE -- who had won the White House on vows to adopt sweeping public works improvements -- promoted a $2 trillion infrastructure package as the next phase of coronavirus response.

Yet a growing number of Republicans -- including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop aide: Biden expected to visit Georgia in push to boost Ossoff, Warnock Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' MORE (Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyRichmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight Drastic cuts proposed to Medicare would hurt health care quality MORE (Calif.) -- want Congress to wait and see the effect of the $2 trillion relief package enacted just last Friday, before charging ahead with another round of emergency aid.

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"Number one, I'm not interested in any more of Speaker Pelosi's spending porn -- or any other member of Congress, for that matter," Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) said Wednesday in an interview with Fox News. "Number two, we just spent, with the leverage, $4 trillion. We ought to see if it works."

 

LEADING THE DAY

Trump leans on businesses in coronavirus response: President Trump is leaning on U.S. business chiefs to bolster his response to the coronavirus pandemic, testing his volatile relationship with the private sector at a dire moment.

  • As the Trump administration struggles to fill shortages of crucial medical equipment and expedite coronavirus testing, the president has flexed the power of his office and pulpit to reward corporations that step in to fill the void -- and punish those who Trump believes haven't.
  • Plenty of Trump's predecessors have called on corporate leaders to help guide the U.S. out of a variety of crises. But Trump has also shown a unique willingness to praise and criticize corporations over whether their operations align with his political and policy goals.
  • Trump's marshaling of corporate leaders may be the greatest test of the dealmaker approach to the presidency he pitched in 2016 with just seven months until the president faces voters again.

The Hill's Morgan Chalfant, Brett Samuels and I tell you more here.

 

Lawmakers press IRS to get coronavirus checks to seniors: Lawmakers, tax policy experts and advocates for retirees are outraged over new IRS guidance that indicates seniors will need to file tax returns to receive their coronavirus checks.

The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill President Trump signed into law last week lets the IRS look at Social Security benefit statements in order to give people their rebate checks if they haven't filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

But the IRS on Monday said some seniors and others who don't typically file returns will need to do so if they want their check.

Lawmakers and groups are now pressing the administration to find a way for Social Security beneficiaries to automatically receive their payments so that they don't face any extra burdens.

The Hill's Naomi Jagoda explains here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Stocks plummeted Wednesday as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States topped 200,000.
  • Grocery chain Kroger announced Wednesday that it had experienced a 30 percent nationwide surge in sales over the month of March as Americans stock up on food and essentials during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Private companies cut 27,000 jobs before a majority of the shutdowns for the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., according to an analysis by ADP and Moody's Analytics that was published Wednesday.
  • More than a quarter of Americans say they've already lost wages as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic broadens, according to a new Grinnell College poll released Wednesday. 

 

ODDS AND ENDS