Trump insisted again Sunday that the virus would "disappear", but the president's view did not at all match projections from the leading health professionals straining to halt the alarming USA caseload and death toll. John Thune, R-S.D., who appeared to doubt the measure would last.
The political stakes are high for both parties before the November election, and even more so for the nation, as the virus crisis and economic fallout hits cities large and small.
Two months ago, House Democrats passed a $3 trillion bill that includes funding priorities including a nation-wide testing and tracing regime, $1 trillion to help fill gaps in state and local budgets and another $1 trillion in direct aid payments to individuals and additional unemployment benefits.
The administration also supported liability protections, with Mnuchin saying this week that they "want to make sure that frivolous lawsuits don't prevent schools, universities and businesses from reopening".
But as the White House weighed in, it has put the administration at odds with GOP allies in Congress. Congressional Republicans have repeatedly rejected that idea but McEnany said a tax cut would go to the "hardest working - middle income and low income workers", but she said it was one of a number of items they are discussing, including another round of direct payments.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was among the few Republicans who publicly voiced skepticism Monday about the payroll tax cut, calling the proposal a "public relations problem" for the GOP. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private talks.
"Instead of working with Democrats in either the Senate or the House, Leader McConnell has made a decision to write the bill behind the closed doors of his office".
"We hope they're going to be unified and present something to us, present something to us in detail", Schumer said.
Schumer warned Monday his side will block any effort from McConnell that falls short, reviving a strategy from the last virus aid bill that forced Republicans to the negotiating table.
"That will not - will not - get the job done", Schumer said.
Mr Trump raised alarms on Capitol Hill when he suggested last month that he wanted to slow virus testing. Testing is seen as the best way to track the virus to contain its spread.
Senate Democrats began investigating why the Trump administration has left nearly half the testing money unspent.
Trump convened GOP leaders at the White House on Monday as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prepared to roll out his $1 trillion package in days.
The president on Monday laid down markers for what he thinks a new coronavirus stimulus bill should include, and not only were they all over the map (including a cut in funding for coronavirus testing and a temporary payroll tax cut), but this scattershot approach also might end up hurting the chances for the inclusion of something millions of Americans are desperate for: New stimulus checks. "I'm going to do everything I can to stop it", Scott said, "Florida taxpayers are not paying for NY or IL or California".
The proposed virus aid package would be the fifth, following the US$2.2 trillion bill passed in March, the largest United States intervention of its kind. That's when a $600 weekly unemployment benefits boost and other aid, including a federal rental moratorium on millions of apartment units, expires. While many Republicans hoped the virus would ease and economy rebound, it's become clear more aid is needed as the first round of relief runs out.
In the two months since Pelosi's bill passed, the USA has had 50,000 more deaths and 2 million more infections.