Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday downplayed the GOP’s rejection to including a payroll tax cut in the next COVID relief bill by shifting the blame to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
On Thursday, President Trump in a tweet attempted to blame Democrats after Senate Republicans rejected a payroll-tax cut in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill that they had been working on with the White House. Last week, Trump told Fox News that he might not sign a relief package that doesn’t include the provision.
Later Thursday, the White House scrapped Trump’s payroll tax cut demand in the COVID relief bill after Republicans expressed vehement opposition towards including the provision.
Mnuchin echoed Trump’s assertion during an interview on Fox News Sunday.
When pressed by Chris about why the Trump administration caved on the payroll tax cut so quickly, Mnuchin responded that “it was very clear that the Democrats were not going to give us a payroll tax cut” and that it’s something the President will come back and look at later in the year.
Wallace then pushed back by pointing out that both Democrats and several top Republicans rejected the inclusion of a payroll tax cut in the coronavirus bill — which included Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and John Cornyn (R-TX).
Mnuchin responded by insisting that there are other Republicans that supported the provision and that “we need bipartisan support.”
Mnuchin went on to tout tax credits that he believes will “incentivize people to get back to work and small businesses to hire people” as well as direct payments that are a “much quicker way of effectively giving everybody a tax cut.”
Mnuchin’s remarks on Fox News Sunday come two days after Pelosi and Schumer ripped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the White House for their “months-long disarray and delay” on delivering a proposal for a COVID relief package.
Watch Mnuchin’s remarks below:
Mnuchin blames Pelosi and Schumer for not moving forward with payroll tax cut despite GOP opposition to it pic.twitter.com/JaSSzpdEMa
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 26, 2020