US Politics

Pelosi: Democrats Want to Keep $600 Unemployment Benefits While Joblessness Stays High

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that while its essential that Republicans and Democrats come to an agreement soon on a stimulus package, its imperative to keep the expanded federal unemployment insurance while the jobless rate remains high.

“If the unemployment goes down, then that number can go down,” Pelosi said Aug. 3 in a televised interview, referring to the $600-per-week extra benefit that expired late last month. It was authorized in the CARES Act, passed in March, to offset joblessness incurred during the pandemic lockdowns.

“I think that the number, the $600, is related more to the unemployment rate,” she told CNN.

In the interview, the speaker said the United States remains mired in a national emergency, arguing that some issues could be ameliorated by the federal benefits.

In May, Democrats passed the HEROES Act in the House, which would allow the payments to continue until January 2021. Republicans, in their HEALS Act unveiled last week in the Senate, proposed $200-per-week extra payments until a program to pay a recipient 70 percent of their wages is implemented.

“A building is on fire and they are deciding how much water they want to have in the bucket. Millions of people could have fallen into poverty without this $600,” Pelosi said.

The Department of Labor reported last week that the unemployment rate is currently at around 11.1 percent.

When she was asked about the progress on both sides, Pelosi said that its imperative that an agreement is made soon.

“Well, lets see when we meet today,” she told CNN. “Its absolutely essential that we reach agreement.”

Democrats also oppose liability protections for corporations, proposed by Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.) has said a bill wont pass the Senate if it doRead More From Source

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The Epoch Times

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