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President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Republicans' upcoming coronavirus relief proposal will not include a payroll tax cut, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Thursday.

Between the lines: Trump had recently said he wouldn't sign a new stimulus bill without a payroll tax cut — something many people expected he'd be forced to cave on, given its unpopularity among Senate Republicans.

  • It's the first of potentially many losses for the White House in this next tranche of funding, as Republicans show they're willing to push back on his priorities.
  • Economists largely agreed that the payroll tax cut would do little to help the economy.

What they're saying: "The president's very focused on getting money quickly to workers right now and the payroll tax takes time, so we'll come back and look at that," Mnuchin said.

  • "He likes the payroll tax calculation. We think it's the right, long-term policy … but he understands that direct payments work now," Mnuchin added.

Go deeper

Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021

Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo (left) and The Conference Board chief economist Dana Peterson. Photo: Axios

The economy will not return to the "pre-pandemic level of activity" until the fourth quarter of 2021, the chief economist at the Conference Board, Dana Peterson, said in an Axios virtual event on Friday, foreseeing "many more quarters of weakness."

Why it matters: Peterson said the economy's recovery will depend on governments reopening businesses and "allowing mobility both internally and externally," as well as on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Oct 31, 2020 - Health

Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.

Oct 31, 2020 - Health

Fauci: COVID-19 hotspots have materialized across "the entire country"

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings/AFP via Getty Images

The United States is "seeing hotspots literally throughout the entire country," with a countrywide average of 70,000 COVID-19 cases per day, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Silicon Valley Leadership Group's annual forum Friday.

Driving the news: The U.S. hit another grim milestone on Friday, with the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassing 9 million as new infections surge across the country, per data from Johns Hopkins University.