LOS ANGELES – Democratic legislators in California are reportedly garnering support for an initiative that would provide state residents with an additional $ 600 a week in unemployment benefits in the event Congress does not renew the benefit.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the state assembly, led by Assemblyman Phil Ting, a Democrat and head of the Assembly Budget Committee, identified many in the state who depend on additional funds to pay rent and put food on the table. .
Republicans in the US Senate have said that many recipients of the additional funding get more money that doesn’t work than if they actually took a job, and the initiative, while important in stabilizing the economy during the start of the pandemic, has followed its course. Now they propose that the supplemental unemployment benefit be reduced to $ 200 per week.
Representative Steny Hoyer, D-Md., The House Majority Leader, said his party may be willing to commit the $ 600 number.
“Look, it’s not $ 600 or bust … [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi said the other day, that I thought it was a great line: “We don’t have red lines, we have values.” We are entering into these securities negotiations, “Hoyer told CNN on Tuesday.” Saying $ 600 or nothing, no, is not where we are. We are prepared to discuss this. “
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said a federal unemployment increase of $ 600 a week was non-negotiable.
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The LA Times noted that the federal supplement ended July 25 and unemployment checks in the state will return to around $ 340 per week. The newspaper reported that Governor Gavin Newsom did not comment on whether he would endorse the measure, but expressed optimism that Pelosi will carry the day through Congress.
Morgan Phillips and The Associated Press of Fox News contributed to this report.