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White House: Democrats at Fault for Failing to Renew Federal Jobless Benefits

White House: Democrats at Fault for Failing to Renew Federal Jobless Benefits
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany during Friday's press briefing. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Friday, 31 July 2020 11:31 AM

The White House to put the onus on Democrats in Congress for a failure to renew expiring federal jobless benefits, saying they had rejected four offers put forward by the Trump administration without countering.

"What we're seeing is politics as usual from Democrats on Capitol Hill," White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters. "The Democrats believe that they have all the cards on their side and they're willing to play those cards at the expense of those that are hurting."

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows - a former Republican House member - told reporters: "What we're seeing is politics as usual from Democrats on Capitol Hill," .

Negotiations were to continue on Friday between White House officials and congressional Democrats.

Asked why she rejected a proposal from Republican President Donald Trump's administration for a one-week extension of the $600 enhanced weekly jobless payment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  told reporters that such a move would occur "if you are on a path" toward a deal, adding, "We're not." the Democrat told a news conference.

Lawmakers and the White House are at odds over efforts to further shore up the economy and manage the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has left tens of millions of Americans out of work and killed at least 152,384 people in the United States.

In a meeting Thursday night between top White House officials and congressional Democratic leaders, negotiations focused on an extension of the $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits, which Americans who lost jobs because of the health crisis have been receiving in addition to state jobless payments.

The Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent senators home for the weekend without reaching a deal.

According to a person familiar with the closed-door negotiations, the White House proposed reducing the $600 weekly payment to $400 for the next four months. While that was a move toward the demands of Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, the source said they rejected it as insufficient.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans tried, without success, to pass a bill reducing the jobless benefit to $200 per week.

For weeks, McConnell has said any deal must include a shield for companies and schools from liability lawsuits as they reopen.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said the White House hinted that it could embrace a deal without that provision.

Democrats want a wide-ranging economic stimulus bill that would include about $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments experiencing plunging revenues during the economic downturn.

In mid-May, the Democratic-controlled House passed a $3 trillion bill that the Republican Senate has ignored.

© 2020 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


   
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The White House to put the onus on Democrats in Congress for a failure to renew expiring federal jobless benefits, saying they had rejected four offers put forward by the Trump administration without countering.
white house, kayleigh mcenany, blame, democrats, benefits
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2020-31-31
Friday, 31 July 2020 11:31 AM
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