The $600-a-week jobless benefit that has helped support more than 25 million Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic is expiring today.
According to CNBC, unemployment benefits will now fall 65% for the average person, though some states will see drastic drops of more than 90%. For example, in Oklahoma, benefits will fall to just $44 a week.
Despite a need for relief, Republicans and Democrats have yet to agree on a new deal. Recently, the GOP proposed a $1 trillion coronavirus bailout plan that Democrats say isn’t enough; Democrats are looking for a $3 trillion package.
The GOP plan includes a second round of $1,200 direct payments to Americans, but it would cut the $600 assistance to $200 a week. Republicans want to encourage Americans to return to work by slashing the extra benefit. However, Democrats want to extend the $600 weekly boost through January 2021.
Meanwhile, the economy is in a downward spiral. On Thursday, it was reported that gross domestic product from April to June plunged 32.9%, its worst period ever in the second quarter.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters that he was "not even thinking about raising rates" amid increasing signals of slowing job growth and fading consumer confidence.
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