Friday, July 24, 2020

Senate GOPs’ Coronavirus Plan Delayed Over Disagreements; Trump Cancels GOP Florida Convention Events, and Other C-Virus Updates

Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press
Senate Republicans scrapped their plans to release a proposal for the next coronavirus relief bill Thursday after continued differences with the White House on unemployment insurance and direct cash payments frustrated efforts to stake out a unified Republican position.
With the delay, Republicans won’t roll out their roughly $1 trillion legislation until next week, further compressing an already tight timeline to reach an agreement with Democrats and pass a fifth coronavirus relief bill. A $600 weekly supplement to state unemployment benefits is set to expire July 31, though will effectively end in many states this weekend. Lawmakers are scheduled to leave Washington again for a recess after the first week of August.
“The administration has requested additional time to review the fine details, but we will be laying down this proposal early next week,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said. “We have an agreement in principle on the shape of the package.”
The Republican bill, while not yet completed, won’t include the payroll tax cut long sought by President Trump, as Republican lawmakers again rejected White House efforts to include the measure in a coronavirus relief bill. Mr. Trump had suggested last weekend he would not sign a bill without a payroll tax cut before softening his stance.
The GOP legislation is expected to include an extension of enhanced jobless benefits, albeit at a lower level, though GOP lawmakers and the White House were still ironing out how to structure the plan, according to people familiar with the matter. The two sides were also still working on finding an agreement on another round of direct stimulus checks.
Senate Republicans were prepared to begin detailing their position Thursday morning before Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows arrived on Capitol Hill to discuss the bill. Leaving that meeting with Mr. McConnell, Mr. Mnuchin said he expected the bill would set the unemployment insurance benefits at a level that would replace 70% of a worker’s former wages through the end of the year.
LINK: Trump Cancels GOP Convention Events in 
Jacksonville, Fla.
“We are proposing a 70% wage replacement,” Mr. Mnuchin told reporters. “Some states can implement this quickly, some states will take time,” said Mr. Mnuchin, who along with Mr. Meadows met again with lawmakers in the afternoon.
Republicans were discussing a formula under which the federal government would tack on an additional 50% to the weekly state unemployment benefit, according to one lawmaker. For states that pay half of prior wages, the result would be to cover about 75% of lost wages and preserve the link between compensation and prior earnings. That arrangement may go into place after an interim period of a flat federal supplement of about $200 a week.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE and follow links below to related stories and resources:

Trump Cancels GOP Convention Events in Jacksonville, Fla.

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus Live Updates

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