Congressional Democrats, White House set for Saturday talks on coronavirus bill

Target Hiring Employment Unemployment

Target Hiring Employment Unemployment

Washington's top power players agree that Congress must pass further relief in the coming days and weeks.

Schumer continued his daily fusillade against McConnell and Republicans controlling the Senate, noting that McConnell "refuses to go in the room" and join the talks in person, instead transferring ownership of the talks to Meadows, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has been a key architect of previous accords.

Also at issue in the negotiations is an nearly $1 trillion Democratic demand for funding for state and local governments, a second $1,200 direct payment to most American adults, more than $100 billion to help schools reopen and a liability shield measure that is essential to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

That proposal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was quickly rejected by some within his own party, with President Trump calling it "semi-irrelevent" in terms of negotiations with Democrats. "And yet, what we're seeing is politics as usual from Democrats up on Capitol Hill". "The Democrats believe that they have all the cards on their side and they're willing to play those cards at the expense of those that are hurting".

"I don't feel valued by many of our elected officials and feel they are not at all concerned with the health risks many of us face", Krupp said in a Friday telephone call with reporters.

"We anticipate we'll have a bill but we're not there yet", she said.

Asked why she rejected a proposal from Republican President Donald Trump's administration for a one-week extension of the US$600 (RM2,544) weekly jobless payment, Pelosi told reporters a short-term fix would be appropriate "if you are on a path" toward a deal. "They don't even have the votes for it in the Senate".

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Republicans want to scale back the federal unemployment benefit.

On Friday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hinted at disagreements on the future of the extra unemployment benefits and whether liability protections should be included in the bill.

Giving a greater sense of urgency to the negotiations were two government reports earlier Thursday that illustrated the fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, the Commerce Department said the GDP shrunk 33% last quarter, the worst drop in history. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Pelosi, D-Calif., have consistently opposed this approach.

"Pelosi & Schumer blocked desperately needed unemployment payments, which is so awful, especially since they fully understand that it was not the workers fault that they are unemployed", Trump wrote.

"That was a cushion to make sure whatever needed to be done, could be done, and money wasn't something I had to worry about", she says. "And as of now they've repeated they don't want to do that".

Republicans argue that the $600 weekly unemployment supplement from the federal government on top of state unemployment benefits ends up paying many workers more to stay home than they would have earned on the job. They noted that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a coronavirus relief measure in May that would have extended the payments through January, and criticized Republicans for failing to act on it and not introducing an alternative until this week. "And they don't quite get that".

Lawmakers and the White House are at odds over efforts to further shore up the economy and manage the pandemic, which has left tens of millions of Americans out of work and killed more than 152,000 people in the United States.

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