Speed Reads

another standstill

Republicans offer $400/week unemployment benefits, but stimulus bill talks remain divided

Republicans and Democrats still remain sharply divided over a replacement for the coronavirus relief bill that expired last week.

When the last stimulus bill expired at the end of July, so did the $600/week boost to unemployment benefits that millions of out-work Americans have relied on since the beginning of the pandemic. Extending those benefits still remains a point of contention as Republicans offer a $400/week concession and Democrats stay firm at $600, among other disagreements, Politico reports.

The Democratic-controlled House passed its version of the next relief bill a while ago, with $600/week boost that would last until the end of the pandemic. Republicans control the Senate, though, and at first indicated there would be no unemployment boost at all in the next phase bill they'd support. They then upped their offer to $200/week, and as of Tuesday, have proposed a $400/week boost that will last until Dec. 15, Politico reports via a meeting between party leaders and White House officials. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also said Tuesday he would back a $600 enhancement if President Trump does as well, and Trump seemingly indicated his support last week.

Also in contention is funding for child care. Democrats want $50 billion for this, while Republicans prefer $15 billion, and the two sides have moved on to closer issues for now. Republicans also think Democrats are also looking for lots of funding for mail-in voting, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has reportedly made it clear states can use election funding for whatever they see fit. A debate over pensions meanwhile remains "a different breed of cat" altogether, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly said. Read more about the state of stimulus talks at Politico.