Democrats Cut Unemployment Benefits Enhancement in Covid Bill

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: The U.S. Capitol is seen behind a fence with razor wire during sunrise on January 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week's riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation's capital and in all 50 states. …
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Democrats have agreed to extend enhanced unemployment insurance through September with a smaller boost to benefits, according to multiple media reports.

The legislation would put the enhancement at $300 per week, down from $400 in the version passed by the House, but would extend the enhancement through September from the earlier draft’s August end date.

The deal also makes $10,200 of unemployment benefits exempt from taxes, providing relief to families who might have faced an unexpected tax bill.

White House chief of staff Ronald Klain applauded the changes on Friday.

Some Democratic Senators have worried that providing too much enhancement could prompt out-of-work Americans to avoid returning to work because they receive more from unemployment insurance than they would in wages.

There is still some chance that this deal will not hold. Republicans have proposed an amendment that would reduce the enhancement to $300 without extending it into September. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is reportedly undecided about which version of the reduction to support.

 

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