- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 23, 2020

President Trump on Thursday blamed determined Democrats, and timid Republicans, for the failure of his proposal of a payroll-tax cut in a massive coronavirus relief plan that is still unsettled.

“The Democrats have stated strongly that they won’t approve a Payroll Tax Cut (too bad!),” Mr. Trump tweeted. “It would be great for workers. The Republicans, therefore, didn’t want to ask for it.”

He said Democrats “as usual, are hurting the working men and women of our Country!”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not introduce the relief package on the Senate floor Thursday morning as expected, as the White House and Senate GOP reportedly are still hashing out details of extending unemployment insurance, which expires at the end of the month. The current $600 a week payment will be reduced.

Republican negotiators had announced a deal in principle with the White House on Wednesday night on spending levels for the roughly $1 trillion proposal. They agreed on a total of $25 billion for coronavirus testing, and $105 billion for schools.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said the proposal would include more direct payments to Americans.

There would also be another round of aid in the Payroll Protection Program for businesses of 300 or fewer employees and revenues down 50% or more.

The GOP still needs to negotiate with Democrats after the White House and Senate Republicans agree on their proposal.

The delay emerged as the government reported Thursday that unemployment claims rose slightly last week to 1.4 million. It was the first increase in claims since the coronavirus pandemic forced economic shutdowns in March.

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