Did They Reach An Agreement On The Unemployment Benefits

“We`re still very far apart,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said after meeting with House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), minority Senate leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. President Trump has called for the meeting several times, but they have not been able to resolve key issues. “The amount of money given as an improvement for unemployment insurance should relate to the unemployment rate, so if it goes down, you can consider a little less than $600, but in this deal it`s $600,” Pelosi said. “I think I hope these talks progress again tomorrow (Wednesday) and maybe the next day,” Meadows said, adding that he hoped to see “some kind of agreement before the weekend.” Republicans have proposed cutting the weekly payment from $US 600 to $US 200 or choosing a formula that amounts to replacing about two-thirds of a worker`s wage before they are unemployed. They have consistently argued that the $600 increased benefit, in addition to public unemployment benefits, is so generous that it discourages the unemployed from returning to work. The government said Thursday that 723,000 workers filed new claims for state unemployment benefits last week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause economic damage. Both Loeffler and Perdue face by-elections for their Senate seats on Jan. 5. The Democrats have a chance to win back the House if they return both seats.