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On The Money: Senate GOP unveils slimmed-down coronavirus relief bill | Democrats call GOP bill dead on arrival | Military members can't opt out of Trump's payroll tax deferral

On The Money: Senate GOP unveils slimmed-down coronavirus relief bill | Democrats call GOP bill dead on arrival | Military members can't opt out of Trump's payroll tax deferral
© Greg Nash

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THE BIG DEAL—Senate GOP unveils slimmed-down coronavirus relief bill: Senate Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a pared-down coronavirus relief package as they prepare to force a vote on the legislation as soon as this week.

McConnell's office did not release a price tag for the forthcoming bill, though it was largely expected to cost around $500 billion, about half of the $1 trillion package Republicans previously unveiled in July. The Hill’s Jordain Carney breaks it down here.

Don’t get too excited: This bill is almost certainly not going to become law as-is.

Read more: 

 

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LEADING THE DAY

Military members can't opt out of Trump's payroll tax deferral: Military members will be subject to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE's payroll tax deferral and will not be able to opt out of it, the payroll services provider for the Department of Defense said over the weekend.

"Military members are not eligible to opt-out of the deferral if their Social Security wages fall within the stated limits," the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) said on its website. "The deferral will happen automatically." 

  • Trump signed a memo last month directing the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payment of employee-side Social Security payroll taxes, in an effort to provide relief to workers during the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Under IRS guidance implementing the order, employers can cease withholding the 6.2 percent Social Security tax from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 for workers who make less than $4,000 biweekly, and then recoup the money by increasing the amount withheld from workers' paychecks in the first few months of next year.

While the federal government is participating in the deferral, many private-sector employers are not expected to do so. Business groups have been critical of the deferral because they don't want to put their employees in a position where they'll get smaller than usual paychecks next year. The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda has more here.

Read more: 

  • Five things to know about Trump's payroll tax deferral
  • A group of senators is urging the Trump administration to allow federal workers and military members to choose whether to have their payroll taxes deferred. 

 

JPMorgan found evidence employees and customers misused PPP funds: JPMorgan Chase has found evidence that some employees and clients misused loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to a memo bank leadership sent employees on Tuesday.

In the memo obtained by The Hill, the bank didn’t detail specific instances but said it had found customer wrongdoing involving the PPP, which was created through the March coronavirus relief bill to provide loans to struggling small businesses that could be entirely forgiven if used to pay employees and keep business afloat. 

“Unfortunately, we’ve also seen conduct that does not live up to our business and ethical principles — and may even be illegal,” the memo reads. “This includes instances of customers misusing Paycheck Protection Program loans, unemployment benefits and other government programs. 

“Some employees have fallen short, too. We are doing all we can to identify those instances and cooperate with law enforcement where appropriate.”

The Hill’s J. Edward Moreno has more here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • The stock market closed Tuesday with heavy losses amid a sharp decline in technology shares that had boomed throughout the summer.
  • The IRS announced Tuesday that it will send letters to about 9 million Americans who don't typically file tax returns, encouraging them to claim the coronavirus stimulus payment to which they are entitled. 
  • Apple is now seeking damages from Epic Games over an alleged breach of contract in an escalation of the legal battle between the two companies.