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As Republicans embrace cut in jobless aid, divisions weaken their leverage

 

Anna Moneymaker – New York Times

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, right, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, speak to reporters following a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), at the Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, July 23, 2020. The White House and Senate Republicans neared agreement on Thursday on a new economic rescue proposal that includes another round of stimulus payments to individuals, additional aid to small businesses and a partial extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, according to a summary of the agreement that was circulating on Capitol Hill.

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans and the White House on Monday threw their support behind a substantial cut in jobless aid for tens of millions of Americans laid off amid the pandemic, proposing a weekly reduction of $400 to a benefit that has cushioned the nation's economy even as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country.

The proposal was part of a $1 trillion opening bid that would have to be reconciled with Democrats, who are pushing a recovery package that would spend three times as much and extend the $600 per week in extra unemployment aid through the end of the year.

Economists say the money, slated to expire this week, has provided a crucial economic buffer for the unemployed, and that lowering the payments could have a cascade of damaging effects across the economy. But Republicans contend that it is too generous, discouraging Americans from returning to work and hampering a recovery.

https://www.startribune.com/as-republicans-embrace-cut-in-jobless-aid-divisions-weaken-their-leverage/571926892/

 

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