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dead in the senate

Trump's top priority in the next coronavirus relief bill won't make the cut

Republicans apparently put up enough of a fight to get President Trump's top priority off the next coronavirus relief bill.

Despite Trump saying in May that "we're not doing anything without a payroll tax cut," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the cut "won't be in the base bill" Republicans will unveil later that day. Both Republicans and Democrats opposed the tax break, with Democrats arguing it does nothing for unemployed people and Republicans saying it wouldn't do them much electoral good this fall.

"We think the payroll tax cut is a very good pro-growth policy," Mnuchin told CNBC, "but the president's focus is, he wants to get money into people's pockets now, because we need to open the economy." Trump prefers "direct payments," because "there's no question this worked before," Mnuchin added.

The Trump administration had been pushing for the payroll tax cut as recently as this week, but seemed to abandon the idea after Republicans vehemently opposed it in a lunch with administration officials. Still, Mnuchin said Thursday it may come up in a "CARES 5.0," referencing a potential fifth coronavirus relief bill.