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Unemployment Benefits: Senate Democrats Seek to Reduce Weekly Boost, But Add Month Payments to Incentive Bill

The new agreement will make the first taxes worth $ 10,200 tax-free.

This is a significant change in the House account, which would provide an additional $ 400 per week until August 29 and will continue the two pandemic programs for the same period. The house bill does not contain the tax provision.

But West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin – the decisive 50th Democrat vote – still doesn’t support the plan, but supports Republicans’ proposal to extend federal benefits from $ 300 a week until July.

Progress on the entire bill stalled Friday afternoon as senators negotiated the issue.
The Senate voted on amendments on Friday in a process known as the “vote-frame” before moving on to a final vote on the entire relief package.

Expansion of special pandemic programs

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program provides benefits to freelancers, giants, independent contractors and some people affected by the pandemic, while the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program increases the duration of payments for those in the traditional state unemployment system.

Congress created these two temporary programs, along with a $ 600 weekly boost that lasted four months, in its $ 2 trillion relief package nearly a year ago to help alleviate laid-off workers during the economic downturn fueled by a pandemic. The programs were extended and the added improvement of $ 300 a week was added as part of a $ 900 billion relief deal agreed in December.
Stressing that millions of troubled Americans have lost their jobs, President Joe Biden has called for a $ 400 boost and continued programs until the end of September as part of a massive aid package he unveiled shortly before taking office.

Asked about the Senate Democratic Unemployment Insurance Agreement, a senior administration official said the White House “definitely does it,” and said the first $ 10,200 in benefits that are no longer taxable is “something that the administration is trying to find out the address. ”

Race to the deadline

However, the differences in the bills for the Senate and the Parliament are another issue that the two chambers must resolve before sending the final legislation to the president for signature.

Legislators’ self-imposed March 14 deadline for adopting the relief package is fast approaching. That’s when unemployed Americans will begin to reap the benefits of both programs, which will then end next month. The $ 300 upgrade also ends next weekend.

About 11.4 million workers will lose their unemployment benefits between mid-March and mid-April unless Congress acts, a recent study by The Century Foundation found.

Even if lawmakers complete the bill in the coming days, some unemployed Americans may notice a benefit gap, as it could take several weeks for state unemployment agencies to program the new regulations into their systems.

Manu Raju and Phil Matingli of CNN contributed to this report.

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