Agreement On Unemployment

Republicans have proposed cutting the weekly payment from $600 to $200 or adopting a formula that would replace about two-thirds of a worker`s wages before he is unemployed. They have consistently argued that the $600 increase, in addition to public unemployment systems, is so generous that it discourages the unemployed from returning to work. Pelosi suggested that Democrats could be open to an approach that will cut $600 over time when the unemployment rate declines, an idea adopted by a number of Democrats in Congress. In recent days, White House officials who wanted to break the blockade have stepped up their rhetoric that Trump has unilaterally raised key priorities for the administration, including the expiration of unemployment benefits and a moratorium on forced evictions. Meadows said President Trump would support a one-week extension of the $600 power to give lawmakers time to negotiate a longer deal. But Democrats turned down an attempt by Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally to get approval for such an extension, with Schumer dismissing the effort as a “cascade” in the Senate. “We owe it to the people who are waiting to return to work across the country, not only to extend unemployment benefits, to help them pay their bills, but also to tie it to economic conditions, so that workers are not held hostage by another pitfall like this,” the representatives wrote in Tuesday`s letter on August 18. House of Representatives spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said in separate interviews Sunday that they remained far removed from a coronavirus aid deal that would restore unemployment benefits that expired for millions of Americans. Senate Republicans finally forced the House to move forward with the continuation of unemployment benefits at a much lower rate, but it was mostly a tactic to force Democrats who support keeping payments at $600 a week to oppose an extension. For many low-wage workers, benefits have been increased compared to previous jobs.

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