$600-a-Week Unemployment Benefits Expire With No New Stimulus Deal

Eldis Sula
July 31, 2020 - 12:38 pm

    Coronavirus relief for jobless workers officially expires today — but a new stimulus package is still a ways off.

    The weekly $600 unemployment benefits passed in March’s CARES Act officially end on Friday, at a time of much uncertainty surrounding the particulars of a second COVID-19 stimulus deal.

    Although the enhanced benefits terminate today, states sent out final payments last weekend, concluding the aid for millions of Americans.

    A last-minute meeting on Thursday between lawmakers and officials ended fruitlessly before the Senate departed for the weekend.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., convened for a discussion with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, reports CNBC.

    Pelosi and Schumer rejected an offer from the White House to extend the benefits for one week, in order to buy more time for negotiations on a new stimulus deal.

    “What is a one-week extension good for? A one-week extension is good if you have a bill, and you’re working it out,” Pelosi said of the talks.

    The GDP tanked in Q2 of 2020, falling by a record low of 32.9% amid coronavirus shutdowns.

    On Wednesday, Trump hinted that Americans could end up receiving second stimulus checks worth more than $1,200.

    "It may go higher than that actually," the president remarked in Texas. "I'd like to see it be very high because I love the people. I want the people to get it."

    On Monday, Senate Republicans put forth the $1 trillion HEALS Act, two months after House Democrats introduced their own $3 trillion package.

    The GOP bill includes a second $1,200 stimulus check, and temporarily reduces unemployment benefits to $200 per week until states can roll out a system that will pay jobless workers 70% of their former wages.

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