GOP COVID-19 relief effort has stalled. Senate Republicans dropped President Trump’s formerly must-have—a payroll tax cut—from their bill. But GOP l
GOP COVID-19 relief effort has stalled. Senate Republicans dropped President Trump’s formerly must-have—a payroll tax cut—from their bill. But GOP lawmakers and the White House cannot agree on what they do want. They appear to agree on a new round of stimulus checks, more Paycheck Protection Program loans, employer tax credits to encourage worker retention, and support for safety protections. They also are looking to continue CARES Act expanded unemployment benefits but at something closer to $200 per week than the current $600. With those added jobless benefits due to expire in a week, some GOP leaders want to break up the bill into smaller pieces—an idea House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls a non-starter.
Meanwhile, weekly job loss claims climbed to 1.4 million. The first increase since March will keep the pressure on Congress to act quickly. After hints in May and June that the pandemic-driven slowdown was moderating, the economy may be worsening as cases of COVID-19 continue to climb. Expanded jobless benefits enacted under the CARES Act expire on July 31.
Ways & Means Republicans offer their own tax agenda. Nobody listens when you are in the House minority, but Ways & Means Republicans released their own “pro-growth” economic agenda. It mostly includes tax breaks for research and domestic manufacturing and investment. It could be a framework for a 2021 initiative in the…