Economy

White House clashes with Republicans over Covid-19 relief

Broadway, as well as theaters across the country, has been dark since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck NY.

"Our Republican colleagues have been so divided, so disorganized and so unprepared that they have to struggle to draft even a partisan proposal within their own conference before they talk to a single Democrat", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to reporters following the Senate Republicans weekly policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 9, 2020. The Republican plan is expected to include another round of $1,200 checks, as well as around $70 billion for schools-half of which will be tied to reopening.

Mnuchin told reporters at the White House that the payroll tax cut, which Trump had peronally pitched, was not going to be in the new bill, a blow for the White House.

House Democrats in May passed a sweeping, $3 trillion stimulus bill called the HEROES Act, which would prolong the extra unemployment benefits until January 2021.

As Mr McConnell shut down the Senate, he promised to return with "a strong, targeted piece of legislation aimed directly at the challenges we face right now". "Hopefully we can come together behind some package we can agree on in the next few weeks", he said.

One sticking point is how to cut the $600 weekly jobless benefit boost the federal government has added to the weekly unemployment checks that states send since the start of the pandemic.

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McConnell, meanwhile, said the White House wants more time to review the GOP's proposal.

McConnell also said the legislation includes a "temporary, federal supplement to unemployment insurance" that "fixes" the perceived problem that the $600 bump creates a disincentive for unemployed individuals to go out and seek new employment.

A number of different solutions were being discussed, the official said Thursday, including dropping the add-on to $100 (£78). That benefit officially expires on 31 July, but due to the way states process unemployment payments, the cutoff was, in effect, on Saturday.

The US registered its 18th straight week of new jobless claims topping one million, with an unemployment rate at 11%, higher than during last decade's Great Recession.

But this package has been delayed repeatedly, and though both sides are committed to passing a stimulus package that includes direct payments, three-way negotiations between Democrats, Republicans, and the White House are complex.

Senate Republicans got the president to abandon his push for a payroll tax break, which they argue does little to help out-of-work Americans.

He did not delve into details about which specific programs, but he may be referring to the solvency of Social Security and Medicare. But the White House added new priorities in turn.



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