Aug 02, 2020
Biden calls on Trump, Congress to enact an emergency housing program
This news has been received from: thehill.com
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Three arrested in Twitter hack | Trump pushes to break up TikTok | House approves 0M for election security Wisconsin Republicans raise questions about death of Black Trump supporter Trump holds mini-rally at Florida airport MORE pressed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will ban TikTok from operating in the US Trump's 2019 financial disclosure reveals revenue at Mar-a-Lago, other major clubs Treasury to conduct policy review of tax-exempt status for universities after Trump tweets MORE and Congress to enact an emergency housing package after ramped up unemployment benefits and an eviction moratorium that have expired.
Biden, the presumptive Democratic 2020 nominee, also hammered Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: 15-20 GOP senators will not vote for any coronavirus deal McConnell: Dropping liability protections from coronavirus deal 'not going to happen' Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility MORE (R-Ky.) for allowing the Senate to head home despite ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill for the next coronavirus relief package. Progress on the negotiations has been slow amid disagreements on a list of issues, including the level of federal unemployment benefits.
“Today is the first day of another month where rent and mortgage payments are due for millions of Americans who are already living on the edge. It comes a day after President Trump and Leader McConnell sent the Senate home for the weekend and allowed enhanced unemployment insurance, which millions of families have been using to pay their rent and bills, to lapse,” Biden said.
“Because Donald Trump is abdicating his responsibility to lead us out of the pandemic crisis and the economic crisis, we now face a potential housing crisis across the country,” he added. “To prevent a catastrophic rise in evictions and homelessness, President Trump must work with Congress to act swiftly and enact a broad emergency housing support program for renters, just as we would in the aftermath of a natural disaster.”
Biden’s statement comes on the first day of August, when rent is due and families find themselves facing new financial hurdles in light of the expiration of the unemployment benefits Friday and the eviction moratorium on July 24.
Biden said Congress should “provide emergency unemployment benefits, greater access to food and nutrition programs, and full subsidies to allow families to keep their health insurance,” adding that doing so could “put the nation in a much stronger position to handle the strain the virus is putting on millions of Americans and our entire economy.”
The statement comes as Republicans and Democrats in Washington clash over the details of the next coronavirus relief package. President Trump and Republicans have suggested a short term deal addressing only unemployment and evictions, but Democrats have maintained they want one big package to address the pandemic.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock | Meadows, Pelosi trade criticism on stalled stimulus talks | Coronavirus recession hits Social Security, Medicare, highway funding Pelosi: Trump trying 'to suppress the vote' with attacks on mail-in ballots Pelosi defends cannabis in coronavirus response: 'This is a therapy' MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerSenators press Postal Service over complaints of slow delivery Meadows, Pelosi trade criticism on stalled stimulus talks Lincoln Project targets Senate races in Alaska, Maine, Montana with M ad buy MORE (D-N.Y.) met Saturday morning with White House Chief of Staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMcConnell: Dropping liability protections from coronavirus deal 'not going to happen' On The Money: Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock | Meadows, Pelosi trade criticism on stalled stimulus talks | Coronavirus recession hits Social Security, Medicare, highway funding Pelosi defends cannabis in coronavirus response: 'This is a therapy' MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTreasury to conduct policy review of tax-exempt status for universities after Trump tweets McConnell: Dropping liability protections from coronavirus deal 'not going to happen' Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility MORE in what participants said was the most productive meeting yet.
“We’re not close yet, but it was a productive discussion. Now each side knows where they're at,” Schumer told reporters after the meeting.
Mnuchin added that the meeting, which lasted over three hours, was the “most productive we've had to date.”Tags Mitch McConnell Steven Mnuchin Chuck Schumer Mark Meadows Nancy Pelosi Donald Trump Joe Biden election 2020 Evictions Unemployment benefits
News Source: thehill.com
GOP senators pitch extending extra unemployment aid through end of year
Three Republican senators on Wednesday proposed a new compromise on the extension of sweetened unemployment benefits, one of the biggest points of contention in congressional negotiations over the next coronavirus stimulus package.
The measure, introduced by Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Martha McSally, R-Ariz., would offer extra jobless aid through the end of 2020 that is more generous than the $200 a week their party is currently proposing but less than the $600 a week supported by Democrats.
MCCONNELL OPENS DOOR TO EXTENDING $600 UNEMPLOYMENT BOOST
Under the plan, states would have the choice of paying out-of-work Americans an extra $500 or $400 per week in August (if they didn't want to deal with the $100 reduction the next month). In September, the benefit would drop to $400 per week in every state.
From October through December, the plan would shift again to 80% of a worker's former salary. However, if state unemployment systems, which are notoriously outdated, were unable to adapt to the more-complicated proposal, they could opt to give recipients a flat $300 per week instead.
“Unemployment benefits have now expired, and millions of unemployed workers are facing extreme financial uncertainty while Congress continues to negotiate the next relief package,” Romney said in a statement. “Our solution extends the supplemental benefits through the end of the year and incentivizes states to update their UI processing systems. Let’s work together to make sure Americans don’t face additional burdens as a result of a sudden lapse in benefits.”
TRUMP THREATENS TO TAKE EXECUTIVE ACTION IF DEAL ON CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS BILL NOT REACHED SOON
The proposal from the three Republicans, two of whom -- Collins and McSally -- face tough reelections in the fall, comes as Democratic leaders and White House officials try to finalize another round of emergency aid and hold a vote in Congress next week. McSally's and Collins' seats are among those that Democrats are eyeing in hopes of cracking the Republicans' 53-47 Senate majority in November.
Both parties are under growing pressure to reach a deal days after several CARES Act provisions, including the extra unemployment aid, expired, dealing a major financial blow to the millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
Republicans have argued that it disincentivizes Americans from returning to their jobs and have instead proposed a $200-a-week replacement until states could adopt a system that would cap the aid at 70% of a worker's former salary. Democrats have maintained the $600 benefit needs to be extended through the end of the year and have made it a key sticking point.
During an interview with PBS, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that Democrats would not budge on the $600 figure, saying "there's no in between."
NEARLY HALF OF US JOBS LOST TO CORONAVIRUS COULD BE GONE PERMANENTLY, POLL FINDS
"We're not saying to the American people, more people are infected, more people are dying, more people are uninsured, more children are hunger-insecure, or food-insecure, and guess what? We're going to cut your benefit," Pelosi said.
More than 30 million Americans, or roughly one in five workers, were collecting the financial support, according to Labor Department data.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled that he would support continuing the $600 checks, so long as President Trump backed the measure. But he noted that many Republicans would likely not vote for the final stimulus legislation if it restores the unemployment aid.
"We know this is going to be a negotiated settlement," McConnell said. "It's not going to produce a kumbaya moment like we had back in March and April where everybody voted aye. But the American people, in the end, need help."
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPMegan Henney is a reporter for FOX Business and Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @megan_henney.