A photo of U.S. dollar bills was provided by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash.

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The $600 federal unemployment boost is expiring Friday. As this date approached, Congress debated what the next move is to help those who are still unemployed. Negotiations became stagnant this week as neither party could agree on what is best.  Republicans backed the HEALS Act, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed on Monday. Previously the Republicans proposed the HEROES Act, the difference between the two is the HEALS costing $1 trillion and the HEROES costing $3 trillion. This proposal would mean the unemployment benefit will go from $600 to $200 a week on top of state-administered aid, which varies widely throughout the country. This unemployment aid would go up through September until it is replaced with a payment that when combined with regular state benefits, will recover 70% of a worker’s previous wages. 

The Democratic party decided to keep the same agenda with the CARES Act in an effort to continue the $600 weekly unemployment benefits. As the conversation among parties continues, more Americans are getting frustrated that they have not come to an agreement as the checks are set to run dry Friday. General consensus shows the general public becoming displeased with the process overall instead of which Act to move forward with.

Although the discussion has halted, for now, there is optimism that negotiations are going to continue into the next week as Congress debates a decision.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

The $600 unemployment boost is almost over. For some, aid will fall by 93% – CNBC – 7/30/2020
Americans started receiving an extra $600 a week in April as a result of a federal coronavirus relief law. The federal subsidy came on top of states’ typical weekly payments. As a result, the average American got $921 a week in May, according to an analysis of Labor department data. But those checks will fall 65% after July 31, to about $321 a week.

The argument for cutting the $600 unemployment benefit doesn’t add up – CNN – 7/31/2020
Earlier this week, Senate Republicans unveiled their stimulus proposal to help Americans who continue to suffer from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Included in the $1 trillion package is a proposal to cut the $600 weekly boost to unemployment insurance benefits, which is about to expire, to $200 per week for the next two months.

Extra $600 CARES Act unemployment benefit ends today: Here’s where things stand – CNET – 7/31/2020
When the program launched in late March, it was scheduled to last for four months, ending on July 31. We’re almost there and, so far, Congress hasn’t approved an extension. There was talk of a short-term solution as Congress deliberates on a new economic stimulus package. One plan considered by Senate Republicans would have reduced the $600 weekly payment to $100. 

Mitt Romney Proposes To Extend Unemployment Benefits – Forbes – 7/31/2020
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), propose to extend weekly unemployment benefits that officially expire today. Absent any last minute action from Congress, millions of Americans no longer will receive the $600 a week supplemental unemployment benefits.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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