The millions who lost their jobs thanks to the pandemic have been eligible to up to an extra $600 a week above what state unemployment insurance would pay. Looks like they'll have to kiss that goodbye!
July 23, 2020

Oh, look. Senate Republicans and the White House have agreed in principle to throw Americans a tiny little bone with the next round of unemployment payments: $400 a month instead of the $2400 a month they were getting to stay home and stop spreading coronavirus.

Now, many of those people are in imminent danger of losing their homes. Maybe that's the plan of the Giant Underpants Gnome in the Oval Office: If enough people lose their homes, they can't vote against him!

"Tonight looks like there has been some fundamental agreement, I'm quoting now, between Senate Republicans and the White House on aspects of the relief bill and one of those ideas that Republicans appear to be coalescing around is unemployment insurance," Ali Velshi said.

"Right now, the millions of Americans who lost their jobs, thanks to coronavirus, have been eligible for up to an extra $600 a week to cover their bills over and above what state unemployment insurance would pay. That expires at the end of the month. For some Americans, that expires this week. Sources tell CNBC that Republicans are thinking of replacing that relief. Well, that's a relief. Oh, wait a second, they're thinking of replacing it with $100 a week. That would be a loss of $2,000 a month for Americans who need it most."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who serves on the labor committee, talked about the proposal.

"The Republicans have created a death trap for every American to walk into called covid-19," she said.

"We have a remarkable number, 140,000 deaths in the United States. We have, you know, 45 million Americans who have filed for unemployment claims. We have people who literally have lost their health care. 27 million people have lost their health care. And Republicans have been acting like there's nothing going on, there's no urgency to this, there's nothing they need to do.

"And now millions of Americans are going to run out of unemployment. When we passed a $2 trillion Republican tax cut for the wealthiest people in our country, nobody said we don't have money for this. When we passed at the administration's urging $745 billion for the Pentagon, for military spending, nobody said anything about not having money. Now all of a sudden when it comes to taking care of Americans in their most dire time of need, where they need to put food on the table, they need to pay rent and mortgages, they need to be able to just get the basic things that allow them to survive, even as they deal with the intense stress of perhaps not having a job or not having health care, this administration says we're going to give you $100 a week?," Rep. Jayapal said.

"That is insulting. It is absolutely not going to meet the need of Americans across this country if they deal with this crisis."

Velshi asked if Republicans were lowballing the number as a negotiating position.

"I think the thing is, this is a crisis of a scale that requires us to match that scale with our response. We need money for state and local governments. We need significant money for testing and contact tracing. We need money for childcare. We need money for unemployment. I have proposed a Paycheck Recovery Act, which would have protected paychecks and kept us with a much lower unemployment rate, the way Germany has, with under 6% unemployment and people have some certainty. But the reality is we need certainty here and we need a scale that Republicans have not even begun to address."

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