President Donald Trump said he might not sign another coronavirus stimulus package if it does not include a payroll tax cut. Trump has voiced support for the idea, which until recently had support from Republicans as well. The next stimulus package also needs liability protections for businesses that do reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, which Republicans are expected to propose.
During his interview with Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace, Trump said he wants to "see" a payroll tax cut included in the bill. "I'll have to see but, yeah, I would consider not signing it if we don't have a payroll tax cut, yes," Trump told Wallace. The president said "a lot of Republicans" support, including a payroll tax cut.
Employees and employers pay a payroll tax whenever they receive a paycheck, with the tax going to things like Social Security and Medicare. The idea behind a payroll tax cut is that it would allow Americans to see bigger paychecks. Democrats have not supported the idea, while some experts have said it would not help significantly, especially the unemployed. Back in May, Senate Majority Whip John Thune, the number two Republican, said he was "not a particular fan" of the payroll tax cut.
Nevertheless, the White House has dug in its heels when it comes to the topic, even as Trump has also voiced support for another stimulus check. "As he has done since the beginning of this pandemic, President Trump wants to provide relief to hardworking Americans who have been impacted by this virus and one way of doing that is with a payroll tax holiday," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement to The Hill last week. "He's called on Congress to pass this before and he believes it must be part of any phase four package."
Another must-have for the next stimulus package is liability protection for businesses, which Republicans have supported. Without the provision, Trump and Republicans fear companies will be sued by customers who test positive for the coronavirus. "We do need protections because businesses are going to get sued just because somebody walked in. You don't know where this virus comes from," Trump told Wallace. "They'll sit down at a restaurant. They'll sue the restaurant; the guy's out of business."
Senate Republicans plan to unveil another stimulus bill this week, but Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana told Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures he still did not know "what's going to be in the bill" or even "if there will be a bill." Another stimulus package would have to pass quickly, but still needs some Democratic support in the House and Senate. Republicans have refused to debate the $3 trillion HEROES Act passed in the House in May and have said the new bill will cost $1 trillion.