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WATCH: House Small Business Committee holds hearing on pandemic recovery

The House Small Business Committee held a hearing on solutions for recovery amid the pandemic July 15.

Watch the hearing in the player above.

The Federal Reserve says economic activity has picked up in most regions of the country but still remains well below pre-pandemic levels with the country facing high levels of uncertainty.

The Fed reported Wednesday that its latest survey of economic conditions around the country found improvements in consumer spending and other areas but said the gains were from very low levels seen when widespread lockdowns push the country into a deep recession.

And the report said that business contacts in the Fed’s 12 regions remained wary about the future.

“Outlooks remained highly uncertain as contacts grappled with how long the COVID-19 pandemic would continue and the magnitude of its economic implications,” the Fed said in its latest Beige Book.

The information in the report will provide guidance for Fed officials at their next meeting on July 28-29. Economists expect the central bank to keep its benchmark interest rate at a record low as it tries to cushion the economy from the pandemic downturn.

The Trump administration has said it plans to negotiate another support package once Congress returns from recess next week. Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on what should be in the new package with Democrats pushing for a package of around $3 trillion while GOP lawmakers have called for smaller support of around $1 trillion.

Congress will only have two weeks to reach a compromise before two of the most popular programs providing paycheck protection for workers and expanded unemployment benefits expire. The unemployment support provided an extra $600 per week but many Republicans say that amount was too high and kept some people from returning to work.

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