COVID-Relief Deal: Is There A Light At The End Of The Tunnel?
Both parties held talks Thursday. The new bill would not include stimulus checks but would include jobless aid.
COVID-19 Relief Picks Up Steam As McConnell, Pelosi Hold Talks
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) held talks on Thursday about reaching a COVID-19 relief deal before Christmas, with both expressing a desire to quickly pass legislation, according to a senior aide to Pelosi. “The Speaker and Leader McConnell spoke at 12:45 p.m. today by phone about their shared commitment to completing an omnibus and COVID relief as soon as possible,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said Thursday afternoon. (Bolton, 12/3)
Momentum For Coronavirus Relief Bill Builds, But Time Short As Parties Work On Deal
While the two sides are getting closer in terms of the possible size of a package, key policy differences over liability protections and whether to help state and local governments continue to be the chief hang ups. The time pressure is also working against members, as pulling together a measure costing hundreds of billions of dollars in a matter of days is colliding with efforts to finalize a massive government funding bill. (Walsh and Grisales, 12/4)
The Washington Post:
What’s In The $908 Billion Bailout: Stimulus Checks Are Out, Jobless Aid Is In
Lawmakers have not yet released legislative text behind the plan, but a one-page summary provided by the group — titled the “COVID Emergency Relief Framework” — combines many of the central priorities of congressional leaders of each party, as well as those of President-elect Joe Biden. The framework would meet congressional Democrats’ top demands to provide hundreds of billions in aid to jobless Americans and hundreds of billions of dollars to hard-hit states and cities. (Stein, 12/3)
The Next Covid Bill May Forgo $1,200 Checks. What Else Is On The Table
As the debate over the next round of coronavirus relief from Congress continues, additional $1,200 stimulus checks are on the chopping block. Still, there are other proposals on the table that could provide some financial assistance to Americans struggling amid the pandemic. (Reinicke, 12/3)
Biden Backs $900B Compromise Coronavirus Stimulus Bill
President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday described the $900 billion congressional stimulus proposal as a “good start” and said he believed Congress should pass it. “That would be a good start. It’s not enough,” Biden said during a Thursday interview with CNN host Jake Tapper. “I think it should be passed,” Biden continued. “I’m going to ask for more … when we get there to get things done.” (Chalfant, 12/03)
Meanwhile, economic hardship deepens for Americans —
US Hiring Slows Sharply To 245,000 Jobs As Virus Intensifies
America’s employers sharply scaled back their hiring last month as the viral pandemic accelerated across the country, adding 245,000 jobs, the fewest since April and the fifth straight monthly slowdown. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to a still-high 6.7%, from 6.9% in October, the Labor Department said. November’s job gain was down from 610,000 in October. (Rugaber, 12/4)
U.S. Job Gains Miss Expectations In November; Unemployment Rate Falls To 6.7%
The closely watched employment report only covered the first two weeks of November, when the current wave of coronavirus infections started. Infections, hospitalizations and death rates have sky-rocketed, leading some economists to anticipate a drop in employment in December or January as more jurisdictions impose restrictions on businesses and consumers shun crowded places like restaurants. (Mutikani, 12/4)
As COVID-19 Persists, More Americans Are Unemployed More Than Six Months. Is That A Stigma Even In A Pandemic?
As the health crisis drags on, a growing share of the workers it has idled have been jobless six months or longer, placing them among the ranks of the long-term unemployed. In October, 3.6 million Americans were unemployed for at least 27 weeks, up from 2.4 million in September and the most since March 2014. People in that category comprised one-third of the nation’s unemployed, and the November employment report, out Friday, is expected to show another surge in chronic joblessness.
Hardships Mount In Kentucky As COVID-19 Relief Talks Drag On
Paula and Anthony Hunter spun off their catering service into a restaurant serving Italian food with a “touch of soul” right before the coronavirus hit. Soon, both Louisville businesses slammed to a halt, and the couple relied on federal relief to help stay afloat. They improvised to keep income flowing in, navigating a maze of food delivery mobile apps and prepping boxed lunches for health care workers toiling long hours at local hospitals. Now, hit with a recent statewide order closing restaurants to indoor dining until mid-December, the couple is hoping for another round of federal aid to hang on until a vaccine arrives. (Schreiner and Hudspeth Blackburn, 12/4)