McConnell wants a targeted coronavirus relief vote. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate could vote as early as this week on a bill to fund small businesses, enhanced unemployment insurance, child care, the post office, and schools. The price tag is likely to be about $500 billion, far below the $3 trillion the House passed in May. The legislation is not expected to advance, since Democrats continue to hold out for a larger package, and some Senate Republicans may oppose the plan. Still, McConnell aims to use the measure to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to bend in relief negotiations.
Tax hikes on the wealthy? Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo still says no. New York State Republican lawmakers have for years blocked proposals to make the wealthy pay more in taxes. During a period of financial growth, Cuomo touted his history of tax cuts. Now, Democratic lawmakers want Cuomo to support a tax increase on New York’s wealthiest residents. But Cuomo says the costs would far outweigh any potential benefits of new revenue. He says high-income households already shoulder the bulk of the state’s taxes.
Democrats move to block President Trump’s payroll tax deferral. House Ways & Means Social Security Subcommittee Chair John Larson introduced two bills last week aimed at reversing Trump’s effort to defer payroll tax collections until after December 31. Separately, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden asked the Government Accountability Office to determine whether the Senate has the authority to overturn IRS guidance on the payroll tax plan.
In case you missed The Prescription last week. You can watch here the conversation between, former IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti and TPC senior fellow Howard Gleckman. They discussed the agency’s challenges during the pandemic and its ability to increase federal revenues by modernizing tax administration and compliance.
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