President Donald Trump insisted that the next COVID-19 relief bill must contain a payroll tax cut and liability protection for businesses, otherwise he might not sign it into law.
Trump made the remarks during a July 19 interview with Fox News Chris Wallace, with the president saying, “I would consider not signing it if we dont have a payroll tax cut, yes.”
Wallace asked Trump how key is the presence in the next stimulus package of the tax cut and a liability waiver, which according to draft relief bill provided by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), seeks to grant liability protections to a wide range of entities, including government agencies, schools, colleges, and businesses.
“The Republicans say they want liability limits, which the Democrats dont like. You say that you want a payroll tax cut, which even some Republicans are cool to,” Wallace said, with Trump contending that “a lot of Republicans like it, though.”
Asked whether he would refuse to sign a bill without the two provisions, Trump said: “Well, were going to see. But we do need protections because businesses are going to get sued just because somebody walked in. You dont know where this virus comes from. Theyll sit down at a restaurant. Theyll sue the restaurant, the guys out of business.”
Trump claimed Democrats dont want liability protection because “theyre totally captured by the lobby of lawyers. The lawyers lobby is probably the most powerful in the country.”
Stephen Moore, chief economist for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, wrote in a recent op-ed in The Epoch Times that suspending the payroll tax cut for the remainder of the year is “the best incentive to get businesses hiring again and get workers off unemployment.”
With reports of some workers making more money from unemployment benefits than on the job, critics argue the generous jobless benefits introduced by the COVID-19 relief bills so far have created a disincentive to go back to work.
“So far, Congresss stimulus plans have cost more than $2.1 trillion on short-term aid to workers, businesses, and states, but they havent stimulated much of anything other than government dependence,” Moore wrote.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi favors another $3 trillion spending bill that would actually encourage states to keep their economies shut down by paying their bills and incentivizing workers to stay unemployed for many more months by extending unemployment benefits that pay more than a job would.”
He said that even with some 35 million people unemployed in the United States, employers are having a hard time attracting workers.
“In 31 states today, welfare and unemployment benefits can pay more than work,” Moore wrote, adding that “of all the significant proposals in play right now, the only one that would actually create new hiring rather than discourage it would be the payroll tax suspension through Dec. 31, 2020.”
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