White House, Senate GOP Weigh Interim Unemployment Aid Extension

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White House, Senate GOP Weigh Interim Unemployment Aid Extension

The Trump administration and Senate Republicans are weighing an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits due to expire at the end of July as deep divisions make a deal on a larger coronavirus aid package unlikely before then, senators said on Wednesday.

"The legislation that I have begun to sketch out is neither another CARES Act to float the entire economy, nor a typical stimulus bill for a nation that's ready to get back to normal", McConnell said Tuesday on the Senate floor.

Easing the payroll tax is dividing Trump's party because it does little to help out-of-work Americans and adds to the debt load.

Whatever lawmakers ultimately agree upon would be part of a much broader package that could include different types of aid, such as expanded unemployment insurance.

There's been some reporting on Republicans clashing over a new proposed round of stimulus to address the coronavirus crisis. "I do not believe there will be anything in our bill that our Democratic colleagues should not happily support", Reuters quotes McConnell. "There are some differences of opinion on the payroll tax cut and whether that's the best way to go, and so we're still in discussion with the administration on that", he said.

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But some Republicans are resisting more big ticket spending.

Meeting with Pelosi and Schumer on Tuesday, Mnuchin and Meadows resisted those key elements of the Democratic proposals, according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private talks. That's when an extra $600/week in unemployment benefits that was funded by the stimulus bill Congress passed back in March is statutorily set to expire. Cornyn faces re-election this year against Afghanistan War veteran M.J. Hegar in what is quickly becoming a swing state. "It's fiscally irresponsible and they should be ashamed of themselves", the Kentucky Republican told reporters. But key Republican leaders, at least for now, aren't on board with that idea.

Bottom line: Don't expect a new stimulus bill until early August, at the soonest.

"I don't think it's been a great example for the world to see America", Utah Sen.

"I'm not a fan of that", Thune said.

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The White House negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the president's acting chief of staff, are expected to head to Capitol Hill later Wednesday.

But the resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the country is threatening to derail the nascent economic recovery as many states have either paused or partially reversed their staged reopening plans.

Congress and the White House are moving toward frenetic negotiations to enact another phase of COVID-19 relief in the coming weeks, but assistance for struggling energy sectors once again is conspicuously absent from the two parties' early priorities. Alexander concurred separately, saying, "we should fund testing as generously as it needs to be".

McEnany said the White House would support funding for "targeted testing", an apparent shift from the weekend, when the administration had balked at providing additional money for testing and contact tracking.

With an election on the horizon that polls continuously show Trump losing by double-digit margins, and when many Senators in once safely Republican states now faced damaged election odds due to a pandemic out of control, every move the Senate Republican Conference makes over the proceeding 100 days must be carefully calculated- managing to please democrats empowered in the House of Representatives, a president in the White House with ballooning unpopularity, and an American public yearning to vote in the midst of the worst economic crisis seen in America in almost a century.

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