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Will second stimulus checks, enhanced $600 unemployment benefits get passed by Friday? Here’s where things stand

August 6, 2020, 10:16 PM UTC

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White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Wednesday a stimulus deal would become much less likely to pass at all if Republicans and Democrats don’t make progress or agree to a deal by the end of the week. And it appears we’re heading into that self-imposed Friday deadline without a deal.

Before heading into a Thursday evening meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Meadows told reporters the two parties are making little progress in their talks for another stimulus package, which would include another round of stimulus checks and enhanced jobless benefits—which expired the week ending July 25.

“I think if we don’t reach a top line number, there becomes very little incentive to have further conversations,” Meadows told reporters Thursday evening. He said Democratic leaders are still wanting around $3.4 trillion, while the GOP has come up from their initial $1 trillion offer. He didn’t say how much they’ve come up.

The White House, Senate Republicans and House Democrats all support sending another round of $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans, however, they can’t come to an agreement for the broader stimulus bill in which the checks would be included. Democrats want more money for state governments and unemployment benefits, while Republicans want the extra $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit—which expired the week of July 25—reduced, and COVID-19 lawsuit immunity for businesses.

“We have said that we are going to have the $600 [enhanced unemployment benefit] … They know that we want the $600,” Pelosi said at a Thursday presser.

Republicans have proposed replacing the unemployment benefit bonus—which is paid on top of state benefits—from $600 to $200 per week for the next two months, according to Bloomberg News. After that period, the benefit would transition into covering 70% of the unemployed persons’ previous income through the end of the year.