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Trump, Lawmakers struggle to find best way to help economy during coronavirus pandemic

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WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Democrats and Republicans agree, billions of dollars will be needed to keep the U.S. economy afloat as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

But, there’s a looming showdown about the best way to do that.

Senate Democrats, including Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, say to protect the economy, the country has to protect American workers by expanding paid sick leave.

“People need to be able to stay in their homes during this crisis. Our plan gets help directly to people struggling to pay rent, to pay mortgages, so they’re not foreclosed on in these difficult, awful times,” said Brown.

Other proposals include emergency small business loans, enhanced SNAP benefits and more housing assistance.

“Experts are telling people stay home if you’re sick. But for too many people staying home from work means losing a paycheck or losing their job,”said Senator Patty Murray, D-WA.

Tuesday, President Trump pitched Senate Republicans on his plan to help the economy, a payroll tax cut through December.

“There’s a great feeling about doing a lot of things, and that’s one of the things we talked about,” said Trump.

Senate Democrats say that just helps big business.

“This will not happen,” said Senator Ron Wyden, D-KS.

Even some Republicans, like Indiana Senator Mike Braun, R-IN, aren’t sure that’s the best approach. He’s hesitant to rush into any economic relief decision too fast.

“I wouldn’t rule that out to help main street, smaller businesses, blue caller workers, I don’t think I’d be interested in doing that for the larger companies,” said Braun. “we don’t have enough information yet that where, you know, we’re starting to do all these finance propping mechanisms that may be needed, I just don’t think we’re there yet.”

House Democrats plan to vote on their own coronavirus relief package Thursday.

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