Senate Republicans pursue benefits pay cut for jobless; adjourn without action

Republicans to Unveil Coronavirus Relief Bill With Wage Replacement Plan, Without Payroll Tax Cut

US stimulus delayed as Republican talks fall into disarray – FT

"Time is of the essence and lives are being lost".

President Trump on Thursday claimed Republicans "didn't want to ask" for a payroll tax cut in the next coronavirus bill due to Democrats' objections to his top ask for the stimulus package, saying they are "hurting" Americans "as usual".

The Democrat bill would have also continued the $600 weekly unemployment benefits, now set to expire July 31 under the first CARES Act, through next January, Forbes reported.

House Democrats passed their own $3 trillion stimulus bill called the Heroes Act on May 15, but it never received a vote in the Senate, according to Forbes.

"The [Trump] administration has requested additional time to review the fine details, but we will be laying down the proposal early next week", the Kentucky Republican told reporters. "The artists who fuel our very big, nationwide economic engine have gone months without work, and the weekly $600 included in the CARES Act is all that is keeping our workers afloat as they stare down an uncertain future".

U.S. Senate Republicans will unveil their proposal next week for a fresh round of coronavirus aid, including more direct payments to Americans and a partial extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.

Given the early hours of the Asian session, risk barometers are slow to react to the market-negative news.

Iranian Health Officials Play Down President's '25 Million Infected' Estimate
Iran has been struggling to contain the Middle East's worst virus outbreak since announcing its first cases in mid-February. Despite his estimate as well as urging citizens to take precautions, the country will not reimpose lockdown restrictions.

The draft proposal also includes a second round of stimulus checks for Americans but the amount of the payment and eligibility criteria are still to be determined. But a GOP aid told CNN that the proposal will likely be released on Monday.

McConnell has thumbed his nose at the latter option, which he says disincentives employment because benefit levels are higher than many people would otherwise earn. It would also extend those benefits to gig workers, independent contractors, and other self-employed people.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin has said they're eyeing some form of extension, but that unemployment will be structured so it won't be more lucrative for people to take the benefits over returning to work.

One possibility under discussion would have the effect of reducing benefits for a typical jobless worker by $400 per week, which Schumer said would cause significant harm.

Unemployment insurance: No more extra $600 per week.

And it will include liability protections to shield schools, businesses and other organizations from coronavirus-related lawsuits as they reopen - a red line for the GOP leader. Nor did he mention new funding for state, local, territorial and tribal governments, many of which are facing massive revenue shortfalls as a result of shutdown orders.

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