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Coronavirus

Stimulus check: Republicans could support a maximum subsidy of $400

The GOP is looking to reduce the weekly unemployment enhancement of $600, which is set to expire on 31 July, to $200-400 as the deadline approaches.

Estados UnidosUpdate:
Stimulus check: Republicans could support a maximum subsidy of $400
PEDRO PARDOAFP

When President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act back in March during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, it provided millions of Americans with an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits. These benefits are set to expire on 31 July but the financial suffering continues for many with many states forced to shut down sectors of their economies due to a rise in infections.

Unemployment benefit reduction as compromise

Congress returned to work on 20 July and are supposed to draft and sign the fourth and reported final stimulus relief package by the end of the month. Among other measures, this new bill will include extending these benefits for a couple of months.

Republican lawmakers are considering reducing this enhancement from $600 a week to $200-400 per week as federal spending during the Covid-19 pandemic continues to increase at a rapid rate. Nothing is official but according to several reports the unemployment boost could be set at only $200 per week to provide an incentive for some people to find a job or return to work.

US President Donald J. Trump speaks to the media during a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the Oval Office at the White House, in Washington, DC, USA, 20 July 2020.
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US President Donald J. Trump speaks to the media during a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the Oval Office at the White House, in Washington, DC, USA, 20 July 2020.Oliver ContrerasEFE

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to release a new package this week that is estimated to be valued at around $1 trillion. The weekly payment in unemployment benefits will depend on what proportion of the Senate stimulus bill is dedicated to them.

Democrats wanted to keep the $600 per week

Back in May the House Democrats drafted and signed the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion stimulus relief package, which, among other measures, would continue to give millions of Americans the $600 per week in unemployment benefits until January 2021. At the time, the bill was described as 'dead on arrival' by the Republican-controlled Senate and President Donald Trump, although the rise in coronavirus cases was not expected to be as bad back then.

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