The Senate adjourned until Monday, with Congress failing to extend the extra unemployment benefits that expire today just as people lose their jobs again. New jobless claims rose with 1.43 million workers filing for initial unemployment benefits. I think this is now 20 straight weeks of 1M+ new claims.
“Mr. Trump’s approach to the negotiations over another round of federal stimulus for the ailing economy has confounded allies, rivals and outside observers. He pushed hard for big-ticket tax cuts that Senate Republicans did not want, along with $1.75 billion to rebuild the F.B.I.’s headquarters in Washington and an expanded tax break for business lunches. And he has derided efforts to find middle ground with Democratic leaders on a comprehensive economic rescue package, declaring on Wednesday that ‘we really don’t care’ about several possible parts of it.”
“Lobbyists, economists and members of Congress say they are baffled by Mr. Trump’s shifting approach and apparent lack of urgency to nail down another rescue package that he can sign into law.”
“The White House is willing to cut a deal with Democrats that leaves out Senate Republican legislation aimed at protecting employers, hospitals and schools from coronavirus-related lawsuits.”
“The White House wants and is pushing for the ‘liability shield’ as a top priority but would be willing to sign off on a deal that lacks the legal protections.”
Why it matters: Tens of millions of Americans are out of work and have been receiving $600 per week on top of their regular unemployment payments. That money has been used both to pay expenses and to prop up the broader economy via consumer spending.
The state of play: Congress and the Trump administration are still painfully deadlocked over the next stimulus bill, with at least 20 Senate Republicans pledging to vote “no” on another massive relief package no matter what.
The bottom line: More than 30 million Americans could see their incomes drop 50%–75% when the unemployment benefits expire on Friday.
And that’s gonna leave a mark. We’re in a hole and the Republicans are still digging.
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie:
OVER THE CLIFF — It happened. The Senate left town knowing that failed negotiations would ensure the expiration of enhanced jobless benefits for millions of Americans laid off and furloughed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer met late into the night Thursday with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, hoping to break the impasse. But they got nowhere and emerged with acrimony and finger-pointing.
Per our colleagues at Playbook: “Meadows made an offer to extend enhanced unemployment at $600 per week for four months as a stand-alone bill. This is a new offer from the White House, and further than Republicans have gone thus far. It’s an extension of current law — something the GOP has railed against. Pelosi and Schumer rejected the offer, and countered with extending enhanced unemployment insurance at the same rate — $600 per week — through the first quarter of 2021.”
–They’re also stuck on funding for state and local governments, workplace protections and even testing for Capitol Hill.
The latest from Pelosi: “They never have understood the gravity of it. Since the HEROES Act passed, about 70,000 people have died. Hundreds of thousands more have been infected. And they wanted to pause, and now they come back with piecemeal.”
Related: As lawmakers FAIL on a new rescue package, Americans’ approval of Congress has returned to its normal nadir — 18% — after hitting YUGE 20-year highs in April and May. Oddly, Prznint Stupid’s approval remains at 41%, less than 100 days from the election.
UPDATE 1: ABC News
Nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump‘s handling of three major challenges facing the country — the coronaviruspandemic, nationwide unrest over racial inequality and relations with Russia — in a new ABC News/Ipsos poll, a sign of the obstacles that his reelection bid faces just three months before Election Day.
With the White House confronting the most significant reckoning on race since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the worst public health crisis in a century, and a hostile Russia reminiscent of the Cold War, Americans have little confidence in the job Trump is doing in all three of these major areas.