Congressional Democrats are again pushing Republicans to provide details of their proposals for a COVID-19 rescue package.
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The nation got another dose of bad economic news Thursday as the number of laid-off workers seeking jobless benefits rose for the first time since late March, intensifying concerns the resurgent coronavirus is stalling or even reversing the economic recovery.
And an extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits, provided by the federal government on top of whatever assistance states provide, is set to expire July 31, though this is the last week recipients will get the extra funds. It is the last major source of economic help from the $2 trillion relief package that Congress approved in March. A small business lending program and one-time $1,200 payment have largely run their course.
On Friday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi insisted the Republicans are “in disarray and their disarray is causing great, great damage to America’s working families.”
President Donald Trump Thursday reluctantly dropped his bid to cut Social Security payroll taxes as Republicans stumbled anew in efforts to unite around a $1 trillion to begin negotiations with Democrats.
The administration scrambled to avert the cutoff next week of a $600-per-week bonus unemployment benefit that has helped prop up the economy while staving off financial disaster for millions of people thrown out of work since the coronavirus pandemic began.
“This is deadly serious, ” Pelosi told reporters.
“A house is burning down in terms of the economic security of America’s families and these people are fiddling wherever they may be this weekend,” she said.
Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement lambasting Republicans for the inaction on the bill.
In a message to Republicans she said: “Put your bill on paper and then we’ll see what you have included and what you have left out. ”
The long-delayed legislation comes amid alarming new cases in the virus crisis. It was originally to be released Thursday morning by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. But the Kentucky Republican instead hosted an unscheduled meeting with Mnuchin and White House acting chief of staff Mark Meadows and delayed the planned release of the proposal until next week.
With the count of U.S. infections passing 4 million and the aid ending, nearly 30 million unemployed people could struggle to pay rent, utilities or other bills, and economists worry that overall consumer spending will drop, adding another economic blow.
Nearly half of Americans whose families experienced a layoff during the coronavirus pandemic now believe those jobs are lost forever, a new poll shows, as temporary cutbacks give way to shuttered businesses, bankruptcies and lasting payroll cuts.
It’s a sharp change after initial optimism the jobs would return. In April, 78% of those in households with a job loss thought they’d be temporary. Now, 47% think that lost job is definitely or probably not coming back, according to the latest poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
That translates into roughly 10 million workers who will need to find a new employer, if not a new occupation.
The poll is the latest sign the solid hiring of May and June, as some states lifted stay-at-home orders and the economy began to recover, may wane as the year goes on. Adding to the challenge: many students will begin the school-year online, making it harder for parents to take jobs outside their homes.