Senate Democrats set to strike deal to reduce unemployment rise to $ 300
Senate Democrats are on the verge of an agreement within their caucus to reduce the increase in federal unemployment benefits in the COVID-19 relief bill to $ 300 from the $ 400 included in the bill. bedroom.
The democratic centrists led by Sens. Joe manchinJoe Manchin Invest now in children and families so that one day I lose my job. (W.Va.) and Tom carperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy & Environment – Brought to you by ExxonMobil – Biden sets government net zero date of 2050 Lawmakers focus on bridging the broadband divide highlighted amid the Manchin pandemic says “Good adjustments” were made to Democrats’ methane charges PLUS (Del.) Support keeping the weekly allowance at $ 300 given the cost of the $ 1.9 trillion relief measure.
The “outlines” of the emerging deal call for keeping weekly unemployment benefit at $ 300 but extending it until Oct. 4 to avoid the so-called August cliff, according to a Democratic Senate aide briefed on the question.
In a concession to the Liberals, the deal would also exempt up to $ 10,200 in unemployment benefits from tax. The tax relief would apply to benefits received in 2020.
People who have already filed their 2020 income tax returns would be allowed to file an amended return.
The change is likely to anger progressives in the House and Senate, but may reflect the realities of the 50-50 Senate, where a single Democrat can join Republicans in providing 51 votes.
White House press secretary Jen psakiJen PsakiThe Memo: Biden faces test following tornadoes Police say armed robberies staged with Snapchat, other apps: Taiwan Defense Ministry report says Chinese invasion complete would be very difficult MORE welcomed the agreement to extend unemployment benefits until October.
“The president believes that it is essential to extend the extended unemployment benefits until the end of September to help Americans in difficulty, as the president proposed in the American bailout,” he added. . Psaki tweeted.
Psaki also touted the tax break for those registered as unemployed.
She praised the deal for “helping to pay off the surprise tax bills many face by eliminating the first $ 10,200 in UI benefits from tax for 2020.”
“Combined, this amendment would bring more relief to the unemployed than the current legislation,” she tweeted.
A number of centrist Democrats were seen as worried about the cost of the legislation, and unemployment benefits had been a point of contention.
Carper said Thursday he was considering proposing an amendment to keep weekly unemployment benefits at $ 300 instead of the $ 400 per week proposed by President BidenJoe BidenPoll: 71% support Biden’s omicron travel ban Invest in children and families now so that one day I am unemployed. On January 6, the panel votes to despise Meadows PLUS and included in the relief bill passed by the House.
“What states have said is they don’t want to be shaken up, they want to have some predictability and certainty,” Carper told The Hill on Thursday. “We are working on something. We will see.”
The deal also comes after a strong jobs report released on Friday found the economy created 379,000 jobs in February, a better-than-expected figure.
Minority Leader in the Senate Mitch mcconnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell The Memo: Biden Faces Test Following Tornadoes Murkowski’s Challenger Says She Won’t Support McConnell The Hill 12:30 PM Report – Brought to you by Mastercard – Democrats hit the gas Biden PLUS agenda (R-Ky.) Denounced the $ 400 a week unemployment benefit offered by Biden on Friday morning.
Democrats’ extra cash bonus for laid-off workers who stay at home, analysis finds over 60% of workers making more money staying home than they earn on returning to work, “he said on the floor. . “It’s not state unemployment insurance, it’s borrowing from our children and grandchildren to pay yet an extra cash premium for not working.”
The GOP’s arguments about the impact of generous benefits on the labor market seemed to resonate with some Democratic centrists.
“I was worried I wouldn’t make it so high that people wouldn’t want to go back to work,” Sen said. King angusAngus KingOvernight Defense & National Security – No Sanctions in Failed Kabul Hillicon Valley Drone Strike – Senators Unveil Social Media Data Sharing Bill (Maine), an independent who chats with the Democrats.
Some progressives have applauded one aspect of the deal: tax relief for recipients of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
“There are a lot of opportunities that Congress has to make a real difference in the lives of people when they are in deep distress. They very rarely take these photos, and forgiving some of the tax liability on UI benefits is huge, and I’m so glad they picked this fight, ”tweeted Elizabeth Pancotti, Director of Employment Policy. America, a progressive think tank and advocacy group.
Naomi Jagoda and Sylvan Lane contributed. Updated at 12:48