President Donald Trump emerged from a lunch with Republican lawmakers saying that everything was going well and they would likely have a coronavirus stimulus package to help keep the economy from dropping any more than it already has.
According to the Washington Post, however, that isn't the whole story.
“I don’t think any decision whatsoever has been made," said Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) when he left the meeting.
Trump proposed a kind of payroll-tax-holiday-style plan that would cut the payroll tax for a small period of time. It could cost the country $40 billion per month, said sources briefed on the decision. Republicans haven't been open to it or any kind of middle-class tax cut, after the GOP's 2017 bill cutting taxes for corporations and billionaires.
Republicans have also argued that it would do little to help with the panic over coronavirus, said the Post. They reportedly doubt that it will do anything to stop the fears that are sparking lockdowns and self-isolation.
“You can’t be the ‘jobs president’ without jobs," said Trump pal former House speaker Newt Gingrich. "A package is going to have to go through because the economy won’t turn around until liquidity is increased and people feel assured we’ll bounce back.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already told allies that he's against the idea, the Post said, citing two veteran Republicans. He even took it further, saying he “detests” the policy idea.
“One thing is clear. The American people are the ones who will need the relief if Congress acts — not the millionaires, not the billionaires, not the multinational corporations,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). “We need to put families first.”
“Stopping all this depends on stopping the spread of the disease. That’s where the priority must be,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) said. “We don’t want people having to choose between a paycheck and preventing the spread of the disease.”