Unemployment: Two Sides Inch Closer On Relief Compromise, Set Monday Deadline

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday that the Senate will vote Wednesday on a new relief package that provides economic stimulus, including extended unemployment benefits.

“I just announced the Senate will vote next week on hundreds of billions more dollars for relief programs that Democrats do not even oppose,” McConnell wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin plan to speak on Monday night regarding a new stimulus after a long conversation on Saturday. The two sides have moved closer recently, with Republicans offering a $1.8 trillion package and the Democrats holding fast at $2.2 million.

McConnell nudged Pelosi in his Twitter note, saying that “Working families have already waited too long for Speaker Pelosi’s Marie Antoinette act to stop. Let’s make law.”

The Senate bill contains $500 billion in funding for unemployment insurance, schools, plus additional COVID-19 testing. The Senate will also cast a separate vote on Tuesday regarding more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which expired in August.

On Saturday evening, Pelosi suggested a 48-hour deadline to resolve the negotiations. The proposal came after an hour-long phone conversation with Mnuchin.

“The Speaker and Secretary Mnuchin spoke at 7:40 p.m. by phone tonight for just over an hour,” Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s chief of staff, wrote on Twitter.

“There remains an array of additional differences as we go provision by provision that must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in the next 48 hours.”

The heart of the partisan disagreements on stimulus have centered on how much funding to give state and local governments and whether businesses should receive legal protections for pandemic-related issues.

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