Today is Aug. 1. The rent or mortgage is due, and utilities, car payments, phones and other bills are stacking up. The cushion that helped soften the impact of the economic shutdown is now gone, and with it, the wolves are at the door for those still out work.
Democrats and Republicans are still reportedly far apart in negotiations over a new stimulus package. Figures from $200 to the full $600 federal unemployment havebeen bandied, and new stimulus checks may happen. But for now, state unemployment benefits may be the only income for many.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the Speaker’s office on Saturday, joined by the negotiators for the Trump administration, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. So far, reports indicate a bill passed by the Democrat-led house would extend the $600 federal unemployment through January. Republicans have a plan that calls for $200 per week until states can come up with a plan restoring 70% of unemployed worker wages. Democrats have rejected a White House plan for a short-term plan while negotiations continued. Predictably, both sides blame the other for playing politics. One way that the logjam can be broken beyond compromise may be an executive order or a so-called “shell bill,” which is introduced with no substantive provisions, but can be amended to accommodate negotiated plans, as with federal unemployment extensions and stimulus. Rumors are that such a bill may be introduced next week.
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