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A $ 600 incentive checks could be included in the economic relief package at the request of the White House

The new White House proposal was not a start for Democrats and a sharp rejection of partisan efforts that brought the two sides closer to compromising on a legislative package amid signs that the US economy is deteriorating under growing party pressure. Corona Virus.

Under Bipartisan framework Released last week by a group of moderate lawmakers, Congress will approve about $ 180 billion in new federal unemployment benefits for the tens of millions of unemployed Americans. That would be enough to fund the federal $ 300 supplemental unemployment benefits per week with the extension of the various unemployment programs due to expire at the end of the year. The framework did not include another round of stimulus payments.

By contrast, Mnuchin presented a plan to provide about $ 40 billion in new funding for federal unemployment benefits. A person familiar with the plan said the Mnuchin plan would extend benefits that expire but not include any federal supplemental benefits, meaning millions of unemployed workers will not receive additional federal aid. A Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment.

Mnuchin’s plan would almost certainly be seen as a no-start plan by Democrats in Congress, who had been adamant that the federal government provide additional income support for laid-off workers. It could also threaten to revive talks about stimulus negotiations.

In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DNY) strongly criticized the White House proposal.

“The two-party talks are the best hope for a bipartisan solution,” the statement said. The president’s proposal begins with cutting the unemployment insurance proposal being debated by members of the House and Senate from $ 180 billion to $ 40 billion. this is unacceptable “.

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Mnuchin said in a statement that the proposal has been reviewed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (RK) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R. California).

McConnell also suggested not including any additional federal unemployment benefits in a proposal he issued last week. It was a reversal of his pre-election stance, when Republicans in the Senate lobbied for federal unemployment benefits of $ 300 a week. Contrary to the White House plan, McConnell has not proposed an additional round of direct payments.

President Trump has previously supported extending federal unemployment benefits at high levels. In August, the president It was unilaterally approved $ 300 per week to extend benefits without congressional approval.

Trump has particularly indicated his willingness to send in another round of stimulus checks of up to $ 2,000, according to someone in direct contact with the president. In March, Congress approved a round of $ 1,200 stimulus checks that the Treasury Department disbursed to more than 100 million American households within weeks.

A second round of stimulus checks has been excluded from the $ 908 billion bipartisan framework unveiled last week by a group of moderate lawmakers hoping to break the months-long deadlock over stimulus negotiations. Senators Josh Hawley (Republican from Mo.) And Bernie Sanders (1st from Virginia) were pushing for checks to be included in the final package, with Sanders going so far as saying he would vote against relief legislation unless he agreed. Trump’s name In the first round of stimulus assays Sent out during spring and summer.

“While the amount has yet to be determined, direct payments to American workers remain a top priority for the president,” a White House spokesman said in a statement.

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Mnuchin released a statement Tuesday evening saying the White House had submitted a $ 916 billion proposal to Congress on what it would pursue in the New Deal.

Lawmakers are working this week to reach agreement on a variety of contentious policy questions, including how to allocate aid to state and local governments, and the liability shield to grant legal immunity to companies in lawsuits related to the coronavirus. A number of critical emergency aid programs are set to expire if Congress fails to act, including unemployment benefits for more than 12 million people and a halt to federal evictions. Congress is expected to pass a one-week “continuous resolution” this week to avoid a federal government shutdown after December 11th.

The urgency of negotiations led to a flurry of activity on Capitol Hill. Senator Susan Collins (R from Maine), one of the leaders of the $ 908 billion framework, acknowledged support for a second round of stimulus payments, but said the group’s efforts were more narrowly aimed at those in need.

“I know there is massive public support for that, but at the moment we’re targeting struggling families, failing businesses and healthcare workers, and we don’t have a motivational checkup for everyone, regardless of need,” Collins told reporters. .

Hawley expressed his frustration on Tuesday that negotiators were “immersed in the idea of ​​not including checks.” “I see them say things like, ‘This is an emergency relief bill.'” I don’t know what is more than an emergency of workers and families who have to reach food lines. … I don’t understand this logic at all. “

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Senator John Thun (SD), the second-highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, told reporters that “there is also much greater opposition” to the stimulus payments, adding, “If something else happens, it might happen. But at this point, it’s not part of the debate.” At this point. But it can be. “

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DNY) told reporters on Tuesday that many Democrats support the stimulus payments but that they should be added to the $ 908 billion framework, rather than included in exchange for another clause. Senator Richard J. Durbin (Illinois), the second-highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate, told reporters that it would be difficult to include checks without cutting other priorities from the package, given Republicans’ insistence on keeping the bill’s price below. $ 1 trillion.

The stimulus measures split economists and lawmakers. Some economists point out that millions of incentive checks have been received by families who are booming economically and have not lost their jobs or suffered wage cuts, arguing that they have been poorly targeted for the current crisis. Other economists said the checks helped stabilize the turbulent economy and reached many economically struggling people who have been denied unemployment benefits or other forms of social insurance. An analysis by the Urban Institute, a centrist think tank, found in August that additional stimulus measures would keep 6.3 million people out of poverty.

House Democrats have included more generous copies of the $ 1,200 stimulus checks in their stimulus proposals.

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