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Politics On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again

01:06  05 august  2020
01:06  05 august  2020 Source:   thehill.com

Meadows: 'We're not going to extend' $600 unemployment benefit

  Meadows: 'We're not going to extend' $600 unemployment benefit In an interview on ABC's "This Week," Meadows argued the original unemployment insurance measure, which has begun expiring, shouldn't be extended.In an interview on ABC's "This Week," Meadows argued the original unemployment insurance measure, which has begun expiring, shouldn't be extended because it "paid people to stay home" and disincentivized unemployed people from finding work. The administration has instead pushed for an unemployment provision that would replace up to 70 percent of workers' wages.

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we've got a lot of questions about UFOs now. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

a man wearing a suit and tie: On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again © Greg Nash On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again

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Republicans Would Cut Unemployment Payments in Virus Relief Plan

  Republicans Would Cut Unemployment Payments in Virus Relief Plan Senate Republicans propose cutting supplemental unemployment benefits to $200 weekly from $600 until states are able to create a system that would provide 70% of a laid-off worker’s previous pay, according to two people familiar with the plan. © Bloomberg Mitch McConnell walks to his office in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on July 22.

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

THE BIG DEAL-Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions: A looming floor fight over unemployment insurance is putting a spotlight on GOP divisions about how to replace the $600 per week federal benefit.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is set to bring the debate to a head this week, with Republican leaders saying they are eager to hold votes that will make Democrats go on the record as bipartisan talks on a broader coronavirus package remain stalled.
  • But the floor votes could also highlight differences among the 53 Senate Republicans, who have struggled to agree on what to do about the federal benefit that expired last week.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, noted that "there is a sizable number who think we shouldn't ... add on anything" above the unemployment benefit already provided by states.

The real view from Europe on coronavirus relief in America

  The real view from Europe on coronavirus relief in America The truth is that economic solutions need to be smarter.The current headlines focus on the Republican proposal to reduce the expiring $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit enhancement to $200. Unemployment insurance in the United States generally aims to give an unemployed worker benefits proportional to, but less than, their previous wages. Pegging unemployment insurance benefits to income helps deal with variation in worker income and local wage levels, and setting the replacement rate at less than 100 percent preserves incentives to work.

The Hill's Jordain Carney explains here.

Lawmakers should take these steps to help US workers during pandemic, economist tells Rising

  Lawmakers should take these steps to help US workers during pandemic, economist tells Rising Economist Pavlina Tcherneva said Monday that lawmakers should institute a federal jobs program to help U.S. workers recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Tcherneva told Hill.TV's "Rising" that the federal government is responsible for the struggling economy, and without its help, "the incentives" to go back to work "will not be there, and firms will fold.""So somebody has to pick up the responsibility to create employment and investment," sheTcherneva told Hill.TV's "Rising" that the federal government is responsible for the struggling economy, and without its help, "the incentives" to go back to work "will not be there, and firms will fold.

The dynamic:

  • Congressional Democrats and the Trump administration are at loggerheads over how to replace the federal payment, with Democrats proposing an extension of the $600 amount through early next year and the Senate GOP proposal favoring a transition to a 70 percent wage match that would last through the end of the year.
  • But with McConnell saying "no progress is being made anywhere else" on the negotiations, Republicans are now eager to hold votes and show they are trying to advance legislation, even if it's destined to fail.

The stalemate: The pressure on Republicans is building as talks continue to stall. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Senate Republicans Tuesday afternoon that negotiators are no closer to a coronavirus relief deal than they were last week, blaming Democratic leadership for the continuing stalemate.

Alaska Airlines warns Washington state employees of fall layoffs

  Alaska Airlines warns Washington state employees of fall layoffs Alaska Airlines warned that almost 1,600 Washington state employees could be permanently laid off in the fall as the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on air travel, according to a filed notice to the state Monday. The airline plans to begin letting a portion of its employees go, starting on Oct. 1, the day after the government's Payroll Support Program terminates, the Seattle Times reported. Across the general airline, 4,200 employees were given warning notices or laid off.

  • Mnuchin told lawmakers that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have dug in and are holding firm, even after the $600-a-week federal enhancement to state unemployment benefits expired last week.
  • Other Republicans emerging from the briefing with Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said it appears the bipartisan negotiations are at a stalemate, even though the Senate is scheduled to leave for the annual August recess Friday.

The Hill's Alexander Bolton has more here.

Trump indicates support for renewing boosted unemployment insurance payments, says he wants to 'get funds to people so they can live'

  Trump indicates support for renewing boosted unemployment insurance payments, says he wants to 'get funds to people so they can live' The president did not specify a benefit amount in the Fox News interview and still expressed concern about causing disincentives to work."We want to get funds to people so they can live but we don't want to disincentivize people" from returning to the workforce, the president said in a Fox News interview. However, he did not specify a benefit amount.

LEADING THE DAY

Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs: The lapse of enhanced jobless benefits amid a record-breaking crush of applications is exposing the flaws and shortcomings of how the U.S. provides unemployment insurance.

The economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic has torn holes in a federal safety net woven by individual systems for every state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

  • More than 30.2 million Americans were on some form of unemployment insurance as of mid-July, with the Labor Department reporting a growing number of new applications in subsequent weeks.
  • Short-staffed unemployment offices across the U.S. grappling with outdated technology and unprecedented demand would face challenges from implementing a scaled-down or more complicated approach to the weekly payments.

Economists and labor market experts also warn that any solution that emerges from the negotiations would take weeks, if not months, to get up and running, risking a potentially catastrophic fiscal cliff for tens of millions of U.S. households. I explain why here.

Cutting unemployment benefits would hamper recovery: study

  Cutting unemployment benefits would hamper recovery: study Eliminating the $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits could hamper the economic recovery, according to a study released last week.The study found that failing to renew the benefits at all would lead to a massive 4.3 percent drop in consumption, the central driver of the American economy."The decline in consumption from 'no supplement' is greater than the entire peak-to-trough decline of the Great Recession," University of ChicagoThe study found that failing to renew the benefits at all would lead to a massive 4.3 percent drop in consumption, the central driver of the American economy.

Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again: Nearly a third of the laid off workers who were able to go back to their previous jobs have been laid off again, according to a Cornell survey released Tuesday.

The survey was conducted by data firm RIWI from July 23 to Aug. 1, as a slew of states experiencing major COVID-19 outbreaks slammed the breaks on their economic reopenings and reimposed social distancing restrictions.

Danielle Goldfarb, head of global research at RIWI, said it was a sign that a second wave of layoffs was well underway.

"Official and private sectors jobs data have not yet picked up the significant share of American workers that have already been re-laid off," said Goldfarb.

"Since the impact is actually worse in states that have not seen COVID surges, these data indicate a systemic problem and a much deeper recession than the mainstream data suggest," she said.

The Hill's Niv Elis breaks it down here.

Trump's Order On 'Unemployment Benefits' Is A Big Mess

  Trump's Order On 'Unemployment Benefits' Is A Big Mess President Donald Trump announced over the weekend that if Congress wouldn’t extend the $600 enhanced unemployment insurance, he would do something himself. “I’m taking action to provide an additional or an extra $400 per week in expanded benefits,” Trump said Saturday at his golf club in New Jersey. But $400 is not $600, which is what the benefit was until it expired at the end of July. And it turns out the extra $400 is actually just $300, unless states feel like adding another $100. And the money isn’t technically an unemployment benefit, possibly because it’s legally dubious. And it could take weeks for states to deliver.

Trump, Democrats both hold fears about US Postal Service, mail-in ballots: The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is under intense partisan scrutiny from both President Trump and Democratic lawmakers, who are warning the agency is ill-equipped to handle the tens of millions of mailed-in ballots expected to be sent for the November election.

Many states have moved to expand access to mail balloting in an effort to reduce in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, leading to growing concerns that Postal Service delays could draw the vote count out for days or weeks past Election Day.

There are fears that ballots that are late, missing or disqualified for small irregularities will lead to lawsuits and questions about the integrity of the elections.

The Hill's Jonathan Easley breaks it down here.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • A group of more than 170 trade associations is urging Congress to allow businesses to get tax deductions for expenses associated with loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday closed with gains for the third day in a row, even as talks over a new stimulus package made little progress in Washington.
  • The price of gold, a commodity thought of as a safe investment in uncertain times, has surpassed $2,000 an ounce, breaking a record.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is asking the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate whether a flurry of trades and executive purchases of Eastman Kodak stock ahead of the announcement of a massive federal loan involved insider trading.
  • Black small businesses have been harder hit by the COVID-19 pandemic than those owned by members of other racial groups, according to a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The future of popular social media platform TikTok in the U.S. was upended these past few days by a series of comments from President Trump about banning the app, making the Chinese-owned company the latest target of Trump's tech war with China.
  • Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation that would ban chlorpyrifos and other pesticides that have sparked concerns among farmworker groups due to negative health effects.

Video: Trump, Republicans signal willingness to negotiate on $600 unemployment benefit boost (CBS News)

Trump's Order On 'Unemployment Benefits' Is A Big Mess .
President Donald Trump announced over the weekend that if Congress wouldn’t extend the $600 enhanced unemployment insurance, he would do something himself. “I’m taking action to provide an additional or an extra $400 per week in expanded benefits,” Trump said Saturday at his golf club in New Jersey. But $400 is not $600, which is what the benefit was until it expired at the end of July. And it turns out the extra $400 is actually just $300, unless states feel like adding another $100. And the money isn’t technically an unemployment benefit, possibly because it’s legally dubious. And it could take weeks for states to deliver.

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