Millions of Americans could use another extension of COVID-19 unemployment checks. The original $600 was extended but only for six weeks. That extension has now expired.
Will you get another extension of unemployment benefits? Will it be for $600 or less? Here’s the update as of October 10.
On October 9, the White House offered to come up to $1.8 trillion for the overall cost of a second stimulus relief plan. However, on October 10, things moved in the wrong direction when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the new White House offer. One reason she gave? The need she believes Americans have for another $600 extension in unemployment benefits.
And that’s where it remains on October 10. Negotiations are stalled. Thus, it’s still possible you could see another extension of the benefits, but it’s far from certain and looking fairly unlikely until after the election. The benefits are in addition to the unemployment benefits already provided by states. According to CNBC, without the extra benefits, some Americans could get as little as $5 a week.
Originally, they were $600 a week when the pandemic first hit. That expired, and President Donald Trump approved a six-week extension but that expired too. Trump approved $300 more because he and some Republicans think $600 gives people too much of an incentive not to work. Thus, another extension would likely be less than $600 because it would need Republican approval. Some states kicked in an extra $100, bringing the extension to $400 a week.
Blaze, a conservative site, has an article posted revealing that “the nonpartisan, not-for-profit Foundation for Government Accountability has a forthcoming report outlining the negative consequences of the enhanced unemployment benefit.” That won’t go a long way toward gaining Republican support for $600.
Here’s what you need to know:
Pelosi Called the New White House Proposal ‘Two Steps Back’
Republicans nearly doubled the amount they originally proposed, but Pelosi wasn’t having it.
“This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back,” Pelosi said on October 10, according to CNBC.
“When the President talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold, rather than agreeing on language prescribing how we honor our workers, crush the virus and put money in the pockets of workers,” Pelosi said.
The CNBC article mentions the $600 in unemployment benefits, quoting Pelosi as adding, “Despite these unaddressed concerns, I remain hopeful that yesterday’s developments will move us closer to an agreement on a relief package that addresses the health and economic crisis facing America’s families.”
Talks Are Breaking Down in Part Over the Unemployment Benefits
According to CNBC, the $600 Democratic proposal for extra unemployment benefits is a key “sticking point” in the negotiations over the overall package.
The House earlier passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package and it did include $600 weekly checks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin floated a counter plan that would provide $400, which is up from the $200 suggested in an early Republican proposal. And there the debate remains.
Other studies have found that the earlier $600 benefit didn’t stop people from looking for jobs, according to CNBC.
In his tweets, the president has focused on other aspects of the plan.
The president tweeted, “The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!”
“If it starts with a 2, it’s going to be a real problem,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Reuters on September 30.
According to CBS News, Pelosi responded to the president’s tweets, saying, “Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP Members of Congress,” Pelosi said. “Walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus.”
Trump has made a second stimulus plan a focus on Twitter. On October 3, Trump wrote, “OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!” The president can’t get stimulus checks done on his own because the Constitution gave funding authorities to Congress.
According to CNBC, September’s job report was weak, driving need for another stimulus package.
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