GOP proposal calls for unemployment benefits to be cut from $600 to $200
The next coronavirus stimulus bill could delay unemployment benefits by up to 20 weeks.
Senate Republicans want to cut weekly emergency unemployment benefits from $600 to $200 as part of a proposed stimulus package called the HEALS Act.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced the HEALS (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools) Act on Monday during a speech on the Senate floor.
“We have one foot in the pandemic and one foot in the recovery. The American people need more help,” he said.
Republican lawmakers unveiled a $1 trillion package on July 27, more than two months after the Democrats passed legislation to extend federal unemployment aid for Americans who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus.
Congress passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March to help Americans and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The package included additional unemployment aid but that extra funding officially ends July 31. House Democrats have proposed extending it until January.
The GOPs forthcoming coronavirus relief proposal would extend the unemployment payouts at a reduce rate until September. According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the plan is to put the $200 in place until states can transition to a new process that pays the unemployed 70 percent of the wages they earned before losing their jobs, per The Hill.
Mnuchin said the proposal will provide a “bridge” as states transition to the new wage match system.
The Department of Labor opposes tying unemployment benefits to previous wages because states would find it “exceedingly difficult if not impossible to implement,” according to a document obtained by NPR.
The next coronavirus stimulus bill could delay unemployment benefits by up to 20 weeks, leaving around 25 million Americans living on payments that have been drastically slashed for several months.
“The American people need more help, they need it to be comprehensive and they need it to be carefully tailored to this crossroads,” said McConnell. “That is what this Senate majority has assembled.”
Despite pressing issues over some key items listed in the aid package, President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and McConnell all agree that the forthcoming plan should include another round of $1,200 in money for most Americans.
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