U.S. Republicans unveil coronavirus plan, slash emergency unemployment benefit - Reuters News Agency

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GOP proposes slashing federal unemployment aid

By Chris Dignam 28 July 2020


Senate Republicans on Monday proposed a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package hammered out with the White House, paving the way for talks with Democrats on how to help Americans as expanded unemployment benefits for millions of workers expire this week.  “Senate Republicans have authored another bold framework to help our nation.” Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a new $1 trillion coronavirus aid package on Monday that slashes the expiring $600 a week in expanded unemployment benefits to $200 a week.

“The Republican plan is weak tea.” Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the GOP proposal too limited compared to the Democrats’ $3 trillion proposal passed by the House in May. “In short, the Republican plan is too little, too late.”

McConnell called that House bill a “socialist manifesto” and urged Democrats to work with Republicans on his plan. “The Senate will not waste time with pointless partisanship.”

McConnell said the GOP package focused on getting children back to school and employees back to work and protecting corporations from lawsuits. The Republican proposal also includes measures not directly related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including $1.8 billion for construction of a new FBI headquarters in Washington, something championed by President Donald Trump, who owns a hotel across the street from the current building.

The extra $600 dollars in unemployment funds – which expire this week – have been a sticking point for many Republicans, who say they encourage Americans to stay home rather than go back to work, as the expanded benefits exceed the former wages of some workers.

This report was produced by Chris Dignam. Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell and David Lawder; writing by Patricia Zengerle and Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone, Leslie Adler, Rosalba O’Brien and Sonya Hepinstall

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