Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stated on Tuesday that he could support an extension of the $600-per-week unemployment boost if President Donald Trump supports the measure.
The federal unemployment benefits program, which was passed in the CARES Act in March, ran out at the end of last month.
The Senate leader was asked about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saying that she would only drop the unemployment benefit program if the jobless rate declines.
“Wherever this thing settles between the president of the United States and his team, who has to sign it into law, and the Democrat, not insignificant minority in the Senate and majority in the House, is something I’m prepared to support,” he told reporters. “Even if I have some problems with certain parts of it.”
Republicans and some White House officials have said the program is problematic because it creates a disincentive for some people to go back to work.
McConnell said the final stimulus legislation may not receive support from some Republicans in Congress. The previous CARES Act was passed largely along bipartisan lines.
“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.”
The CARES Act, Democrat-passed HEROES Act, and Republican-proposed HEALS Act are all designed to curb economic losses incurred during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. More than 150,000 people have reportedly died from the virus, a coronavirus that originated in mainland China, in the United States.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, said that he now supports extending the unemployment benefits.
“Yeah. I want to get them. I want to get them a lot,” he said during an interview when he was asked if he wants the unemployed to continue to get the extra $600 weekly payment.
“It’s not their fault. It’s China’s fault that this whole thing happened,” the president said.
Trump, however, doesn’t support sending $1 trillion to state and local governments, as Democrats have proposed in their HEROES Act.
“The problem we have is that they’re looking to Democrats to take care of states that have been poorly run. It’s bailout money. They’re looking for a trillion dollars in bailout money to bail out many states,” Trump said in Tuesday’s interview. “It has nothing to do with corona[virus]. It has to do with something much different, that’s years of neglect and not good management.”