Trump wants payroll tax cut to counter coronavirus impact

Trump admin begins sounding out a stimulus package with lawmaker as virus spreads.

President Trump on March 9, 2020
President Trump on March 9, 2020
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 9, 2020 - 8:53pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

President Trump signaled Monday night he is preparing an economic stimulus plan that includes a payroll tax cut to counter the effects of the coronavirus scare that caused the markets to plunge by historic levels.

Appearing at a rare White House podium news conference with reporters, Trump said his administration will meet with members of Congress on Tuesday to explore both the payroll tax cut and and other economic measures to help small business and hourly wage earners.

“The main thing here is we are taking care of the American public," the president said. “And we’re taking care of the American economy.”

Trump said he was seeking stimulus measures that were "very major" and "very dramatic" including  "a possible payroll tax cut or relief, substantial relief" and "hourly wage earners getting help so that they can be in a position where they're not gonna ever miss a paycheck." He also suggested a loans program top help small businesses hit hard by downturns in travel, gas, airlines and cruises.

While the president moved forward quickly, some members in his own party suggested a stimulus may be too soon to consider.

“Well, I usually love tax cuts, but I think it’s a little bit premature,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was quoted by Politico as saying. 

The President and CEO of the Job Creators Network, a small business lobbying group, urged Democratic congressional leaders to work with President Trump to approve a payroll tax cut.

"The President continues to take decisive action to protect Americans from the coronavirus and to protect American businesses from its economic fallout," Ortiz said in a statement. "Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer should drop their partisan swords and work with the President to preserve the economic gains made by small businesses during this recovery. A payroll tax cut has had support in both parties for many years, it's time to get it done."