‘We’re nowhere close to a deal’: $600 federal unemployment benefit likely to expire on Friday, impacting millions of Americans

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The $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit will expire on Friday without an agreement between Congress and the Trump administration.
“We’re nowhere close to a deal,” Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, told reporters on Wednesday, The New York Times reported.
Republicans want to reduce the pandemic-related benefit to $200 a week, but Democrats want the full amount extended through January 2021.

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Democrats and the Trump administration are “nowhere close to a deal” on extending the $600-a-week federal unemployment benefit, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Wednesday.

The $600 benefit was passed by Congress in March as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to help those impacted by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

“It means enhanced unemployment insurance provisions will expire,” Meadows said, according to The New York Times. That means over 17 million unemployed Americans will stop receiving the money as of Friday.

Republicans have been pushing to slash the emergency benefit down to $200 a week, claiming the larger figure has discouraged recipients from returning to work during the height of a pandemic.

However, a new study by Yale University economists found “no evidence that more generous benefits disincentivized work either at the onset of the expansion or as firms looked to return to business over time.”

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