Dueling coronavirus stimuli: The Senate seems to be getting ready to OK the $100 billion House-passed stimulus bill after House Democrats agreed to water down some sick leave provisions. At the same time, the White House and Senate GOP leaders are putting together a third measure that would include hundreds of billions of dollars of additional stimulus. Senate Democrats have their own $750 billion version. The White House has an $850 billion plan. Many Hill observers think a final bill, with a little from each version, will top $1 trillion. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will work at "warp speed" to pass that measure.
Schumer’s plan. The Senate Democratic leader would increase spending for a long list of public programs including housing, food assistance, health care, transportation, Medicaid, food assistance for children and seniors, and unemployment benefits. He’d also cancel student loan debt. No words on any tax cuts yet.
The White House wants to put cash in every pocket, ASAP. The President’s favorite idea, a payroll tax cut for businesses and workers, still on his wish list but getting little traction. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters yesterday that the Administration may be less interested in the form than the result: He says Trump wants to send "checks to Americans immediately. And I mean now, in the next two weeks.” The White House package also includes support for businesses, $50 billion in aid for the airline industry, and a range of other measures.
The IRS postpones tax payment deadline for many filers. Nearly all taxpayers who have not yet filed their federal income tax returns will have until mid-July to make any balance due payments for 2019. But it appeared they’ll still have to file their returns by April 15, though late yesterday practitioners were still uncertain about what the Treasury announcement means. About half of individual taxpayers already have filed and the vast majority of all filers get refunds. Roughly 15 million could benefit from the Treasury decision to waive interest and penalties. The guidance excludes individuals who owe $1 million or more and corporations that owe $10 million or more.
Four macroeconomic strategies to manage the pandemic. TPC’s Donald Marron describes his four pillars here: Embrace economic losses that protect health. Help people get through this sudden financial shock. Protect our economy’s productive capacity so it can rebound once the virus risk recedes. And make full use of our economy’s productive capacity once the immediate crisis ends.
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