Kudlow says coronavirus relief will include $1,200 checks and extension of eviction moratorium

 As negotiations continue on the next coronavirus relief package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress will remain in session until there is agreement on the measure and it is approved by lawmakers.
"We can't go home without it," Pelosi, a California Democrat, said on "Face the Nation" when asked whether the House would stay in session until a deal is negotiated. "It's so sad that people should have this uncertainty in their lives."
Senate Republicans and the White House spent last week negotiating the terms of the fourth phase of the coronavirus response, which they expect to have a $1 trillion price tag. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Senate staff this weekend to continue hammering out the details of the measure, and Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday the details are expected to be unveiled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday.
The most pressing issue for Congress is the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits, which were implemented in an earlier coronavirus relief package and began to expire this weekend. Democrats are calling for the "phase four" coronavirus measure to maintain the $600 boost to unemployment benefits, but some Republicans argue it disincentives Americans to return to work as they make more with the beefed-up benefits than they do in wages.
Mnuchin said GOP lawmakers are looking to give jobless workers 70% of their prior wages instead, but Pelosi argued the proposed change would be difficult to implement, as not all who collect unemployment benefits are salaried workers.
"They're resenting $600 for single moms to be able to put food on the table, for dads to maintain the dignity of keeping their families intact with unemployment insurance, with assistance for rent, for food?" Pelosi said.
The measure rolled out by Senate Republicans is expected to be the starting point for negotiations with their Democratic counterparts, and Pelosi said her caucus has been "anxious to negotiate" for more than two months. In May, the Democrat-led House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief measure, but the legislation was a non-starter for the White House and GOP-controlled Senate, which hit pause on talks.
Pelosi criticized Republicans for the delay, saying they are "in disarray, and that delay is causing suffering for American families."
"For them to come now when we're right on the brink when people are hungry in our country, children, millions of children, are food insecure, many families who never thought they would go to a food bank are going to food banks, and we need more money for food stamps and emergency nutrition programs, and they're resisting that," she said.
While Republicans and Democrats agree the next aid package should include another round of direct payments to Americans and federal aid to schools, they disagree on other areas such as funding for state and local governments and liability protections for employers, a key provision for McConnell.
Pelosi condemned Republicans for wanting to protect businesses but not workers who fear to contract the coronavirus.
"What they're saying to essential workers [is[ 'you have to go to work because you're essential. We've placed no responsibility on your employer to make that workplace safety, and if you get sick, you have no recourse because we've given your employer protection. And if you don't go to work because you're afraid of being sick and you have that job opportunity, you don't get unemployment insurance,'" she said. "This is so unfair."
Pelosi went on to knock Mr. Trump for his handling of the coronavirus crisis and said she has a nickname for the president: "Mr. Make Matters Worse."
"He has made matters worse from the start," she said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said Republicans have now finalized their latest piece of coronavirus relief legislation, worth about $1 trillion, and intend to introduce it Monday.
“We do have an entire plan,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”  “The [Trump] administration and the Senate Republicans are completely on the same page,” he said after delays in rolling out the plan last week. 
Republicans had hoped to release their official proposal as soon as last Thursday, but that did not happen as the clock ticked on the weekly unemployment boost that has kept many Americans afloat during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the White House had requested more time to “review the fine details.”
Mnuchin said Sunday that he hopes Congress can work in a bipartisan manner to approve the GOP proposal, which is expected to have another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for Americans and liability protections for businesses and schools among other provisions
It also will modify the federal unemployment insurance supplement to include about 70% wage replacement for individuals, he said, instead of the $600 boost in weekly benefits for all recipients. That benefit, which was a key component of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, came to an end over the weekend. 
“We can move very quickly with the Democrats on these issues. We’ve moved quickly before and I see no reason why we can’t move quickly again. And if there are issues that take longer, we’ll deal with those as well,” Mnuchin said. 
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow on CNN earlier Sunday called the Republican proposal a “very well rounded package.” He also said the Trump administration intends to extend the federal moratorium on evictions, but didn’t specify whether that would be in this legislation. 
Mnuchin said some pieces of the legislation, such as the unemployment benefits and liability protection, are a higher priority than other issues. A deal could be done in parts to expedite the negotiating process, he said. 
 “This will be the fifth set of legislation so there’s no reason why can’t have numbers five, six, and seven as we need to deal with issues,” he said. “And obviously, anything we do we need bipartisan support.”
But Democrats have expressed opposition to a piecemeal approach. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats have been “anxious to negotiate” with Republicans since mid-May when the lower chamber approved a $3 trillion coronavirus rescue package. The bill passed almost entirely with Democratic votes, went nowhere in the GOP-controlled Senate. 
“They’re in disarray and that delay is causing suffering for America’s families,” Pelosi said of the Republicans’ struggle to put a plan together on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We have been ready for two months and 10 days.” 
Pelosi added that the House, which has a recess scheduled for August, “can’t go home without” the next piece of coronavirus legislation being approved. On Thursday,  Pelosi said a deal cannot be done piecemeal and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said “we have to address it as a totality.”  
Pelosi also appeared to push back Sunday on the Republican’s plan for the federal unemployment supplement, suggesting that calculating a specific amount for each person would be difficult. 
“The reason we had $600 was its simplicity and figuring out 70% of somebody’s wages, people don’t all make a salary. They make wages, and they sometimes have it vary,” she said. “So why don’t we just keep it simple?” 
Republicans contend that continuing the $600 weekly benefit could inhibit the U.S. economic recovery since some workers may make more money on unemployment insurance than they did on the job. 
House Democrats in their May legislation extended the $600 weekly benefit through January. Senate Democrats have proposed linking the level of the federal supplement to state unemployment rates; under the proposal, the weekly benefit would be reduced as economic conditions in a state improve.
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Sunday that the next round of coronavirus relief will include $1,200 stimulus payments to Americans and the Trump administration will lengthen the federal eviction moratorium. 
“There’s a $1,200 check coming, that’s going to be part of the new package,” Kudlow said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 
Republicans have finalized the next relief bill, worth about $1 trillion, and will introduce it Monday. The legislation is set to provide a temporary and reduced extension of unemployment benefits, another round of stimulus checks, liability protection for businesses, and funding to help schools restart. It will also include $16 billion in new funds for testing and tax incentives to encourage companies to rehire employees. 
“The check is there, the reemployment bonus is there. The retention bonus is there,” Kudlow said of the next relief legislation. “There will be breaks, tax credits for small businesses, and restaurants.”
“It’s a very well rounded package,” Kudlow added. “It’s a very well targeted package.” 
Kudlow also said the administration plans to lengthen the federal eviction moratorium, which has protected millions of renters in the last four months from getting evicted. 
Cities across the U.S. have been bracing for a surge of evictions when the moratorium expired on Friday. The moratorium covered renters in building with mortgages backed by the government. Lawmakers and housing advocates have called for a nationwide eviction ban along with rent cancellations and other forms of housing relief. 
The $600 weekly supplement to state unemployment checks that were imposed in March ended over the weekend. Democrats want to extend the aid while Republicans are set to reduce the subsidy, arguing that extended aid is a disincentive for unemployed Americans to find work.
Kudlow said the administration’s plan to cap unemployment benefits on approximately 70% wage replacement is “quite generous by any standard.” Last week, Republicans were considering extending the insurance benefit at a reduced level of $400 per month, or $100 a week, through the rest of the year. 
As negotiations continue, it’s not yet clear when the potentially reduced unemployment supplement would go into effect. The U.S. unemployment rate has surged to above 10% because of the pandemic, with nearly 32 million Americans now receiving unemployment benefits, according to the Labor Department.
Even as cases surge across the South and West, Kudlow remained optimistic about a U.S. economic recovery: “The odds favor a big increase in job creation and a big reduction in unemployment,” he said. 
The U.S. has reported more than 4 million coronavirus cases and at least 146,484 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 
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