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The White House offered Wednesday to approve unemployment aid and extend the moratorium on evictions in the face of a block in negotiations between Democrats and Republicans for a new fiscal stimulus package.
The huge gap between the two parties’ proposals raises fears that this Friday, if there is no agreement, more than 20 million Americans will lose the unemployment aid of $ 600 a week approved after the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis.
Republicans offer a $ 1 trillion bailout with a cut in unemployment aid to $ 200 a week, while Democrats defend one of $ 3 trillion that would keep current subsidies.
From the White House, the conservative caucus and the private sector, it has been criticized that the current reinforcement of the subsidy for some unemployed Americans supposes that they receive more money for being at home than for returning to work.
In addition, the Democratic proposal would include financial aid for local and state governments, something that Republicans oppose.
Negotiations with the Democratic opposition are being led directly by the White House, specifically its chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who offered a temporary patch on Wednesday to expand unemployment aid and also the moratorium on evictions, after the expiration of the last week.
Democrats, however, led by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, have rejected this patch proposed by the White House and maintain their intention to continue negotiating in the next few hours to reach a complete agreement.
What the proposals of the two parties do share is the sending of a new payment of $ 1,200 to all taxpayers with incomes of less than $ 75,000 per year.
In March, the US approved a $ 2.2 trillion economic stimulus package, the largest in the country’s modern history, with the aim of counteracting the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but the severity of the situation did so. has shown insufficient.
That stimulus package was triple that implemented in 2008 after the outbreak of the financial crisis, which totaled $ 700 billion.
The gradual reopening in June of the United States economy was reflected in a decrease of 2.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate, which that month stood at 11.1%, but the rebound in cases in recent weeks, especially in California, Texas and Florida, which has forced restrictions, it darkens the horizon again.
The US Federal Reserve (Fed) forecast in June a 6.5% economic contraction for 2020 and a year-end unemployment rate of 9.3%.