Coronavirus: Millions of Americans set to lose key $600 benefit

A rise in spending and slowing in the decline in personal income in June has been credited to US government aid programs 
          AFP  File

A rise in spending and slowing in the decline in personal income in June has been credited to US government aid programs AFP File

The two sides held meetings on over the weekend. but said they're not close to an agreement.

Mnuchin and Meadows agreed as they addressed reporters at the Capitol a short time later.

Throughout his presidency, Trump has pushed the boundaries on executive power, with steps such as declaring a national emergency at the U.S. -Mexico border that he said allowed him to redirect Pentagon money to build a wall.

"There's definitely areas of agreement", he said, citing "enormous bipartisan support" for "checks in the mail".

The failure to seal a deal by July 31 has left more than 25 million people in the US are losing access to the extra $600 federal unemployment benefits, according to CBS News report. "Yes, they might anecdotally have examples, but the fact is, is that they're subjecting somebody who gets $600 to scrutiny they won't subject some of the people that are getting millions of dollars" through the loan program for small businesses that keep employees on their payrolls. "There are schools that want to open that will need money for social distancing and PPE (personal protective equipment)".

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Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY, who has the votes to obstruct any bill in the Senate, also insisted that state and local help should remain in the legislation.

Democrats are also continuing to press for about $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments. "And we are going to work very hard to come to an agreement that meets the needs of the moment, we still believe and we discuss this with them".

Democrats also blocked an attempt by Republicans to expand the $600 weekly unemployment benefit for a single week on Thursday. There is nothing they can do in terms of sending out another round of stimulus checks. "This is not a usual discussion, because the urgency is so great". "We want people to be able to pay their bills and to stay in their homes", Bernanke said at a Congressional hearing two weeks ago, adding the unemployment insurance will also increase aggregate demand and help the economy in general.

Although the Senate is scheduled to take its August break after Friday, McConnell could keep the chamber in session past that deadline.

"This is a very different kind of negotiation, because of what is at stake".

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Almost 30 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, per the Labor Department.

It was not clear whether this idea was under serious consideration among administration officials.

Mnuchin, whose interview with ABC News followed Pelosi's, said he was "surprised" by her comments. He spent much of his time on CBS' "Face The Nation" attacking her for opposing a piecemeal approach that would revive jobless benefits immediately but leave other items like food stamps and aid to states for later legislation.

The White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill want to trim the weekly jobless aid, and have rejected as too costly the state and local assistance package that was included in legislation passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives in May. But a Yale University study published last week found no evidence that the extra unemployment benefits discouraged people from returning to work.

The Trump administration is considering taking unilateral action on measures like enhanced unemployment insurance and a moratorium on evictions if it can't agree with Congress on an economic relief bill, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

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The stimulus package will be the fifth legislative response to the pandemic and could well be the last one before the November election. But as the pandemic surged back over the summer, Republicans displayed greater flexibility.

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