White House, Senate GOP Set To Cut Additional Unemployment Benefits By $400/Week

Senate Republicans and the White House have gone back-and-forth on the rate of unemployment checks under the next stimulus bill proposal, expected to release today. According to a report from the Washington Post, the two sides have come to a consensus, agreeing to a $200 a-week addition to unemployment insurance.

It’s down from $600 a week, which was passed under the CARES Act. The higher rate of unemployment provided a significant safety net to the more than 50 million people that have filed for unemployment during the COVID-19 crisis. JPMorgan Chase JPM recently found that cutting the additional unemployment protections could lead to a 29% decline in the rate of unemployed spending.

The Republicans want to use the $200 a-week payment for a length of time, providing them with the opportunity to then implement a way to provide benefits that would ensure 70% of income, prior to losing the job. States would have two months to install the program that would allow the capability to provide the 70% of income strategy.

Republican plans for unemployment have ranged from ending the additional checks to only providing $100 more per week ($400 per month). But as coronavirus cases have worsened, as has unemployment, it could force them into negotiations on this particular point of the stimulus bill.

The decision to focus on reducing the benefit will surely become a point of contention in negotiations with Democrats. In the May passing of the Democrat-led HEROES Act in the House of Representatives, the unemployment check of $600 extra per week would extend through January 2021.

Senate Democrats have signaled that they would support a measure closer to the House bill than the lowering of benefits, which has been suggested by the White House and Senate Republicans.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said there’s been no negotiations between the Senate Democrats and Republicans, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to roll out the GOP stimulus plan today.

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