Coronavirus: Millions of Americans set to lose key $600 benefit

Meadows criticized Democrats for rejecting Trump's proposal of a short-term stopgap measure to extend key elements of previous relief bills - a $600-per-week unemployment enhancement and eviction protections.

Talks will continue on Saturday.

"The proposals we made were not received warmly", Meadows said.

Pelosi charged Republicans with offering a "piecemeal" solution.

Those four offers have been "rejected", he said, adding that he's "disappointed" Democrats are playing politics.

Meadows and Mnuchin rejected that but the treasury secretary voiced optimism about negotiations as he left the Capitol building. "I think we'll start next week debating in earnest, hopefully".

"The Democrats are playing for November 3, and we're playing for the good of the people".

"Do we want to continue to come to an agreement?" Absolutely. But it's got to meet the gravity of the problem, ' he said.

The group of four have met for four days in a row but have failed to make a deal.

Republicans also have had to contend with bipartisan blowback from a number of extraneous, White House-requested spending measures unrelated to the pandemic - $1.8 billion for a new Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters and $377 million for long-sought West Wing renovations.

His plan quickly stalled after conservative Republican senators complained about its $1 trillion price tag and Democrats - plus some Republicans - criticized the package for containing non-COVID matters, such as funding for a new Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters.

Senate Republicans introduced a $1 trillion package this week that contains a liability shield to protect businesses, schools and other institutions from coronavirus-related lawsuits; gives $105 billion to schools, with two-thirds going to those that reopen; distributes another round of $1,200 stimulus checks to lower-income Americans; provides money for COVID-19 testing and to health care agencies at the center of the pandemic fight; and provides tax credits to hard-hit businesses.

The talks stalled amid news the USA economy suffered its worst drop in history in the second quarter of 2020 - shrinking by 33 per cent in the April-June quarter. Unemployment sits at 14.7 per cent.

Trump, scrambling to prop up a struggling USA economy as he runs for re-election in November, has been pushing for another bill.

On Monday, Senate Republicans unveiled their stimulus plans.

'We want a temporary extension of expanded unemployment benefits, ' he said during a Thursday briefing at the White House. 'Like the payments sent directly to 160 million Americans earlier this year, which was a tremendously successful program'.

Economic analyses have repeatedly shown that the boosted federal benefits have helped prop up other parts of the economy - and a cut would cost the US millions of jobs.

"Senate Republicans are letting the $600 federal unemployment insurance benefit expire today", tweeted New York Sen. "The Democrats are saying, 'My way or the highway'".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) derided the House relief package, called the HEROES Act, as a "totally unserious proposal".

"Democrats have made zero offers over the last three days", said Meadows, an inexperienced negotiator and former tea party lawmaker.

Republicans want a smaller relief plan than one passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

McConnell has tried to push the blame to the opposition.

Democrats hold a strong negotiating hand - exploiting GOP divisions over whether more aid is even needed - and they are expected to deliver a necessary trove of votes.



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