As Capitol Hill lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle negotiate on the terms of a fourth Wuhan coronavirus stimulus package, President Trump will push forward with a payroll tax cut.
"There are a number of things we're looking at for phase four. One of the things is unemployment benefits whereas Secretary Mnuchin said, we want this to be completed before July 31 the day that runs out. We don't want something to be a incentive where someone gets overpaid and has a disincentive from going back to work or they get paid more on unemployment benefits than at work so we want to be cautious about that and make sure that those who are unemployed are taken care of," McEnany said.
"The payroll tax in particular goes to some of our hardest working Americans. The people that it benefits, if you look at the tax structure, are middle income and low income workers. Not only that, there's an incentive on the employer side with payroll tax holiday that encourages them to hire more too because it reduces their burden so it's a very smart policy," she continued, adding that a payroll tax cut is part of a larger package that includes unemployment benefits and direct payments.
McEnany also explained the President supports additional funding for targeted Wuhan coronavirus testing, not a general fund.
"Currently in the federal coffers we have $10 billion, that's with a 'b', unspent, that is allocated for testing and we want to ensure in phase four there is money that is targeted for testing in a way that makes most sense. We are willing to put in money for targeted testing that makes sense, not just dumping money into a pot that already contains $10 billion," she said.
Yesterday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin visited the White House to discuss initial negotiations on a $1 trillion phase four plan.
"We’re working and negotiating with the Democrats on trying to get a plan that helps small businesses, helps people, helps this country. And I think we’ve made a lot of progress on that. And the discussions are going on," President Trump said.
Congress goes on recess in less than three weeks.