we all want to know
President Trump really wants a payroll tax cut on the next coronavirus relief bill — but no one else does.
Top Senate Republicans shared their frustrations with Trump's insistence on the tax cut and other measures in a Tuesday closed-door meeting with Trump officials, anonymous participants tell The Washington Post. And even though Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the other officials didn't mention the cut during the meeting, the senators were sure to make their frustrations clear, participants say.
Republican officials and the White House reportedly can't agree on "policy goals, budget parameters, or even deadlines," when it comes to planning the next wave of COVID-19 relief, the Post writes. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) reportedly argued voters wouldn't notice the payroll tax cut in the massive bill, giving it no real electoral value. And when Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) pushed to spend money on what would win votes this fall, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grew "incensed" at the idea of expanding the bill's price tag, the Post continues — "What in the hell are we doing?" he reportedly asked.
Democrats have even more directly opposed a payroll tax cut, with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pointing out that it "doesn't help those who aren't on a payroll." That's more than 17 million Americans as of the end of June — and they might also lose the extra $600 per week they've been getting on their unemployment benefits if Congress doesn't renew the boost that expires at the end of July.
When asked if the end of the month deadline was within reach on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) only laughed out a "no."