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the coronavirus crisis

Senate Democrats will reportedly lower COVID-19 relief bill's unemployment benefits

Democrats in the Senate have reportedly reached an agreement to include lower weekly unemployment benefits in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Under a "last-minute agreement" expected to be introduced in an amendment from Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the weekly federal unemployment benefits in the relief bill would be $300 a week, rather than $400 a week as in the House of Representatives' bill, The Wall Street Journal reports.

This amendment, however, would also extend the unemployment benefits through September rather than August, and "the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits will now be non-taxable income," according to Politico.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki expressed support for this agreement on Friday, saying President Biden believes it's "critical" to extend the unemployment benefits through September, and along with the allowing the first $10,200 to be non-taxable, the amendment will "provide more relief to the unemployed than the current legislation."

But the Journal notes that "liberal Democrats had pushed to keep the unemployment benefits at $400 a week and weren't expected to be pleased with the Senate's changes."