Senate Rejects Duels Against Coronavirus Bills As Unemployment Cliff Looms

On Thursday, the Senate rejected two competing proposals for coronavirus relief as the deadline for extending improved unemployment benefits approaches, and Congress struggles to break a deadlock over a fifth stimulus bill.

The floor drama comes as the $ 600 federal boost to unemployment benefits passed as part of the March bill expires Friday without consensus in Congress on how to replace it.

Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson The timeline for the Republican Party’s Obama investigation report slips when the president looks at the subpoenas The House Committee of Representatives votes to give all members access to evidence of foreign disinformation The Democrat-aligned group targets Republican Party president at center of Obama-era investigation MORE (R-Wis.) And Mike BraunMichael BraunGOP Seeks ‘Plan B’ As Coronavirus Talks Hit The Wall Republican Senators Rebel Over Coronavirus Proposal Healthcare Price Transparency Act May Reduce Costs And Drive National Economic Recovery MORE (R-Ind.) He tried to pass a bill that would link general unemployment benefits to a two-thirds match to an individual’s past wages, with the federal weekly pay cap limited to $ 500.

If states can’t implement that formula, several have warned that, due to archaic systems, it could take months to implement, then they could choose a federal unemployment benefit of $ 200 per week.

“We want to help workers, but we want to avoid a situation where we prolong unemployment,” said Johnson.

He added that the previous $ 600 per week was “too generous” and argued that it was hurting the ability to hire workers again.

But the minority leader of the Senate Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLincoln Project Targets Senate Races In Alaska, Maine, Montana With M ad Buying Pelosi, Schumer Says Republican Senate Coronavirus Bill Is ‘Selling To Working Families’ 12:30 Report From The Hill – Presented by Facebook – Barr Showdown with House Democrats MORE (DN.Y.) blocked the Republican Party’s proposal and instead tried to pass an approximately $ 3 billion House of Democrats bill that, among other provisions, would expand the federal unemployment benefit of $ 600 week until the end of the year.

“People will be stuck with that big cut,” Schumer said, adding that “many states will not be able to implement this new plan for weeks or even months.”

Schumer added that, in addition to being “fundamentally unfeasible” and “pushing more people into poverty,” the unemployment insurance proposal would take money out of the economy.

In addition to extending the unemployment benefit, the House of Representatives bill, which was largely passed along party lines, would also provide approximately $ 1 trillion in additional aid to state and local governments, another round of controls. stimulus and additional food assistance.

Johnson blocked that invoice. Braun added that the House bill was a “monstrosity.”

Under Senate rules, any senator can try to set up or pass a bill, but any senator can also block it.

Mourning proposals are the latest sign of lack of progress toward a bipartisan agreement after days of negotiations between Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse The Republican Party Steering Committee selects four members for new committee positions. Pelosi Meets Presidents for Surprising Billing, But Tries to Dodge Hillicon Valley: House Panel Questions Tech CEOs During Long-Antitrust Hearing | TikTok will make the code public as it rejects ‘disinformation’ | Intel home panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence MORE (D-Caif.), Secretary of the Treasury Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMcConnell Opens Door to Smaller Coronavirus Relief Deal Republican Party Seeks ‘Plan B’ As Coronavirus Talks Hit Wall On The Money: Meadows Says Benefits Will Expire As Negotiators Strive To Reach A agreement | Trump launches short-term pact | Fed keeps rates close to zero as the economy faces a coronavirus hit MORE and chief of staff of the White House Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMcConnell Opens Door To Smaller Coronavirus Relief Deal Republican Party Seeks ‘Plan B’ As Coronavirus Talks Hit Wall In Money: Meadows says benefits will expire as negotiators scramble to reach a agreement | Trump launches short-term pact | Fed keeps rates close to zero as the economy faces a coronavirus hit MORE.

“We can’t make a deal because I don’t think our friends across the aisle are serious about the deal,” Johnson said, explaining why he was trying to move his own independent unemployment measure.

Schumer replied that they had been asking Republicans to negotiate a fifth coronavirus relief bill “for a long time.”

“We have had nothing,” Schumer said. “We came here because our Republican colleagues were unable to act together … Instead of being serious in the negotiation, they have created a trick.”