Coronavirus relief package talks at a standstill amid divide over unemployment aid
Capitol Hill nowhere close to closing stimulus deal
Fox News Congressional Correspondent Chad Pergram on the likelihood of the White House closing a coronavirus stimulus deal.
Congressional negotiations over the next round of coronavirus relief funding are at a standstill despite a sweeping agreement between Republicans and Democrats that additional aid is needed for American families and businesses still reeling from the pandemic.
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President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are all supportive of a fifth stimulus package, but remain badly divided over what measures should be included.
CALCULATE HOW MUCH MONEY YOU'D RECEIVE FROM THE SECOND STIMULUS CHECK HERE
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday the two sides are "miles apart."
The impasse in talks comes just as the supplemental $600 a week in unemployment benefits, part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed in March, is set to officially expire.
It also follows a slew of ugly economic data on Thursday, which showed the nation's GDP, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the country, plunged by 32.9 percent, the largest quarterly decline since the government began publishing data 70 years ago. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits also rose for the second consecutive week, intensifying fears the labor market's recovery was stalling.
One main point of contention between the two sides is whether to extend the extra jobless aid or not.
WHITE HOUSE, REPUBLICAN PROPOSAL CUTS JOBLESS AID FROM $600 TO $200
Without the sweetened aid, the typical unemployment check will return to below $400 per week. It will drain roughly $15 billion per week from the economy, according to one estimate from the Century Foundation, raising fears of a "fiscal cliff" that will hurt both individual households and the economy's gradual recovery.
Republicans have proposed cutting the sweetened benefits to $200 per week until states can adopt a more complicated system that would cap the aid at 70 percent of a worker's former salary.