March 10, 2020 at 2:32 PM EDT
Trump’s meeting with Senate Republicans ends with no resolution on coronavirus economic plan
President Trump’s meeting with Senate Republicans on Tuesday ended without any concrete plan for crafting an economic package that might address the turmoil caused by the coronavirus epidemic, sparking fears that policy makers are far apart on how to deal with growing concerns that the U.S. could enter a recession.
At the meeting, Trump discussed his proposal to extend a temporary payroll tax cut for a period of months. Some lawmakers also discussed the idea of targeted infrastructure spending. Both ideas could be used to try and flood the economy with more cash, but there was not a consensus over how to proceed. And House Democrats are busily assembling their own package.
“I don’t think any decision whatsoever has been made," said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.).
At the meeting, Trump proposed having a temporary payroll tax cut that could last a period of months. The cut could amount to $40 billion per month, people briefed on the discussions said, which would make it quite substantial. Republicans have been cool to the idea of a payroll tax cut so far, arguing it would do little to help deal with the economic fear as the coronavirus continues to spread.
By Erica Werner, Robert Costa, Mike DeBonis and Seung Min Kim