Where does Congress stand on another COVID-19 relief package?
Share Now on:
Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall-Genzer is following this news. The following is an edited transcript of her conversation with Marketplace’s Sabri Ben-Achour.
Sabri Ben-Achour: What’s on the table here?
Nancy Marshall-Genzer: The Senate bill will probably have a smaller price tag, probably around $1 trillion. Senate Republicans are also expected to insist on some liability protections for businesses to protect them from lawsuits if workers or customers get COVID-19 and blame the business owner. President Trump also says he wants the legislation to include a payroll tax cut.
Ben-Achour: And what about the extra $600 a week in unemployment payments workers are now getting?
Marshall-Genzer: That’s a big stumbling block. It’s scheduled to expire at the end of this month. Democrats want it to continue, maybe for the next six months. But Republican leaders say some people are making more money from unemployment than when they were working. They see the $600 as a disincentive to return to work. Democrats say there aren’t enough jobs for all of the unemployed workers right now, and if the extra money were cut, it would cause great financial hardship.
Ben-Achour: Are there any compromises on the horizon there?
Marshall-Genzer: Possibly. Republicans might be willing to continue with a smaller unemployment subsidy. There’s also talk about giving people who return to work a bonus. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said any new subsidy would be no more than 100% of a person’s lost wages.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.