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Motorcycles Republicans Fussing With Unworkable Unemployment Plan As Benefits Lapse

20:56  27 july  2020
20:56  27 july  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Based on Republicans ’ previous descriptions of their plan , a trade association for state unemployment agencies said last week it would be an implementation nightmare with wildly different results among states. The trillion measure is supposed to be a starting point for negotiations with It includes another round of stimulus checks, similar to those paid out earlier this year, as well as aid to schools and smaller businesses, and expanded liability protections. The Republican proposal would reduce the extra federal unemployment benefits that Congress created in March from 0 to 0

Senate Republicans moved forward with a plan to set up votes on extending lapsed supplemental unemployment insurance with President Donald Trump’s endorsement, as talks on a broader pandemic relief package made little progress. Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney and others have presented versions of a so-called skinny bill designed to keep millions of unemployed Americans from going entirely without the additional support they’ve counted on since the stimulus package enacted in March. Romney has proposed a three-month extension of unemployment benefits that

Senate Republicans on Monday are set to unveil their long-awaited proposal for another coronavirus economic stimulus package, including some kind of extension of enhanced unemployment benefits that are set to expire this week for millions of Americans.

Based on Republicans’ descriptions of their plan, a trade association for state unemployment agencies has already said it would be an implementation nightmare with wildly different results among states.

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Republicans Fussing With Unworkable Unemployment Plan As Benefits Lapse . Meantime, state unemployment offices, which distribute the payments, are still struggling to process the 0-a-week payments approved months ago. The plan is Republicans ’ opening bid for extending unemployment benefits , which began expiring over the weekend, as negotiations with Democrats begin in earnest this week.

Unemployment Benefits Calculator. Forbes Advisor UK. Energy Comparison (UK). Congress is in recess after failing to reach a compromise on a new stimulus package. But Republicans are trying to cobble together a narrow stimulus proposal for when lawmakers return to Washington in September.

The $1 trillion measure is supposed to be a starting point for negotiations with top congressional Democrats. But already it has divided the GOP and faces stiff opposition from conservatives. It includes another round of stimulus checks, similar to those paid out earlier this year, as well as aid to schools and smaller businesses, and expanded liability protections.

The Republican proposal will replace the extra $600 in federal unemployment benefits that Congress created in March with an individualized amount based on workers’ previous wages, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday.

“We are going to be prepared on Monday to provide unemployment insurance extension that would be 70% of whatever the wages you were prior to being unemployed,” Meadows said on ABCNews’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

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With Jobless Benefits Set to Lapse , Congress Is at Odds Over an Extension. While some lawmakers want to continue substantial aid for millions of unemployed workers, others are concerned that the money is holding back a recovery that depends on employees returning to work. WASHINGTON — With expanded jobless benefits put in place to help laid-off workers weather the pandemic set to expire by the end of July, Republicans and Democrats in Congress are at odds over whether to continue to provide substantial payments to tens of millions of Americans who are still out of work.

Republicans released their proposal for the next stimulus bill. Stimulus checks make the cut, but unemployment benefits , among other wishes, could lead to intense negotiations with Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the Republican version of a second round of stimulus bill, calling it the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act while laying out the vision for the aid, as Congress works to secure support to those at home and strengthen the economy as coronavirus cases and unemployment rises.

But there could be a huge problem with structuring the proposal like that if Republicans want the extra $600 replaced immediately. It would take at least a month for states to set the extra benefits according to individual wages, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies said. For some states, it could take longer than 12 weeks.

“If such a policy solution is chosen, the effective date should be set well in the future, with a continuation of a flat amount until that future effective date,” the trade association said in a document offering guidance to lawmakers. It’s not clear if the Republican proposal would call for an immediate transition or a later starting point, perhaps with a smaller flat amount in the meantime. (Even changing the amount could take as long as five weeks in some states, according to the association.)

It’s no surprise that state unemployment agencies would struggle with a new policy. After all, it took weeks and in some cases months for states to implement the changes Congress enacted in March. Several unemployed workers have told HuffPost they still can’t get anyone on the phone when they have a problem with their claim.

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As enhanced unemployment benefits expire at the end of the month, Senate Republicans have found themselves racing the clock to find an agreeable expansion to the program. But as Republicans look to retool the program to ensure that only pre-pandemic salaries are replaced and nothing above that, many have argued that the current benefit is far too high and is leading to a disincentive to work for some. The special pandemic program is set to expire on July 31, though the Department of Labor said the final checks will be distributed this weekend.

Senate Republicans , after days of delays and struggles to line up with the White House, will release their trillion coronavirus relief package Monday afternoon, which includes a cut of 0 to the enhanced unemployment benefit for Americans out of work from the Covid-19 crisis.

Meadows said the U.S. Labor Department would get help from the Treasury Department, which managed to distribute more than 159 million direct payments to households earlier this summer. But the National Association of State Workforce Agencies said involving Treasury would create “many administrative issues” and it would be faster to tell states to maintain a flat benefit amount.

Meanwhile, more than 25 million Americans receiving benefits got their final payments with the extra $600 over the weekend. Next week, they will receive only the state portion of their benefits, which typically amounts to less than $400. That income loss could have a substantial effect on the broader economy.

a man holding a sign: A person holds a placard as protesters temporarily block the street to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) house with a live band on a flatbed truck, demanding the extension of coronavirus-related unemployment aid, on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 22. © Jonathan Ernst / Reuters A person holds a placard as protesters temporarily block the street to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) house with a live band on a flatbed truck, demanding the extension of coronavirus-related unemployment aid, on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 22.

Kevin Menard of Gladstone, Michigan, said he and his spouse are “breaking even” thanks to the extra $600. He receives less than he did from his job as a corporate travel agent, but enough to pay his bills. Without the extra money, he will have to prioritize his mortgage and figure out which obligations have to slide.

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“Somebody’s not going to get paid. I’ve always been on time with everything.” Menard, 52, said in an interview. “I’m seriously going to have those conversations and I’ve never been in this situation my entire life. I’ve never not had a job since high school.”

Republicans have complained the extra $600 discourages people from taking jobs, even though the pandemic continueis surging and public health experts say staying home is still the country’s best medicine. Menard said that he wouldn’t feel safe trying to strike up a new career and that he’s still technically employed at his old job, on furlough until October.

House Democrats passed their own $3 trillion measure in May. Among its relief provisions, the bill would fully extend the added unemployment benefits until the end of this year. Republicans, however, decided on a wait-and-see approach to further coronavirus aid, declining to act until just a few weeks before the July 31 deadline.

“The simple, easiest thing to do is extend it,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It’s been one of the most successful programs at keeping people out of poverty, getting money into the economy quickly. Had we not done it, we’d probably be in a depression. If we don’t do it again we could go into a depression, as bad as this recession is.”

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Democrats will have leverage over the final product, and their support is necessary to send the legislation to the president’s desk. Half the Senate Republican conference is currently opposed to passing any additional stimulus, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday on Fox News.

“It’s just shoveling money to her friends and not actually solving the problem,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a separate Sunday interview on CBS.

White House officials on Sunday floated an alternative proposal before the broader package had even been unveiled, something that doesn’t bode well for this week’s expected round of negotiations. The more narrow package would include only a partial extension of the enhanced unemployment benefits, along with some funding for schools, and expanded liability protections for businesses.

But Pelosi has repeatedly rejected that approach.

“We have stood ready to negotiate for more than two months,“Pelosi said in a statement Monday, calling on Republican leaders to meet with her and Schumer within a half-hour of releasing their plan today. “If Republicans care about working families, this won’t take long. Time is running out. Congress cannot go home without an agreement.”

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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