House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday dismissed any suggestion that Democrats would pass a standalone extension to the expiration of unemployment benefits if lawmakers fail to reach agreement on the broader unemployment relief bill. coronavirus in the coming days.
“No, no, no,” Pelosi said emphatically Friday at a Capitol press conference aimed at pressuring Senate Republicans to include a $600-a-week extension of job benefits in their next legislation.
MORE THAN 1.4M AMERICANS FILED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT LAST WEEK
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Thursday that Republicans have pushed back the release of their coronavirus relief plan until next week. A major sticking point is that Democrats want to extend unemployment assistance by $600 a week through January 2021, while Republicans, who control the Senate, have offered benefits worth 70% of that. that people used to earn because the extra $600 payment is a deterrent to work.
“Let’s not scream about $600,” Pelosi said Friday, urging Republicans to support a full extension.
At the start of the pandemic, Congress passed the expanded federal unemployment benefit, which has been the lifeline to stay afloat through widespread coronavirus-related layoffs for tens of millions of Americans. The additional $600 benefit ends this week, with unemployed workers only accessing state benefits that are often at the poverty income level.
SENATE scrambles to GATHER ANOTHER CORONAVIRUS RELIEF ROUND
Pelosi lambasted Republicans for suspending the Senate on Thursday and “playing” this weekend as House Democrats have been waiting for the Senate to act since May, when the House passed its 3-year coronavirus relief bill. trillions of dollars.
The Speaker of the House said that if Democrats agreed to separately pass the unemployment extension, it would take the pressure off Republicans to resume the other elements of their plan, including housing assistance, vouchers food, state and local aid, and mail-in voting.
“I would be very opposed to separating that and losing all leverage to meet all the other needs,” Pelosi said. “It’s a fraudulent tactic.”
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Each state offers assistance for at least some unemployed workers based on a portion of their previous earnings. Maximum amounts vary widely, ranging from $235 per week in Mississippi to $1,234 in Massachusetts. Benefits are available for as little as six weeks in Georgia and up to 28 weeks in Montana. Most states normally cut people after 26 weeks.
The weekly $600 bonus is technically set to expire on July 31, although that will be the last week that recipients will receive the extra money. Some new aspects of coverage aren’t ending, including coverage for some construction and self-employed workers who aren’t typically eligible for unemployment benefits, as well as a 13-week extension to regular benefits that the federal government has promised to provide. to help states pay.
Fox News’ Sally Persons and The Associated Press contributed to this report.