On The Money: Enhanced unemployment insurance likely to expire during COVID-19 aid talks | Trump says he won’t issue national mask mandate | Mnuchin: Hardest-hit businesses should be able to get second PPP payment
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THE BIG DEAL—Enhanced unemployment insurance likely to expire during COVID-19 aid talks: The $600 weekly boost in unemployment insurance payments is likely to expire before lawmakers reach a deal on the next coronavirus relief package, raising the stakes for negotiations and creating more uncertainty for people relying on the government aid.
- Because most states process payments on a weekly cycle ending on Saturdays or Sundays, states will stop paying out the extra $600 on July 25 or 26 unless Congress acts quickly.
- But negotiations between the House and Senate aren’t expected to begin in earnest until early next week — and the two parties remain far apart on the contours of an agreement.
That risks leaving unemployment insurance recipients in limbo while the negotiations play out.
“We may already be out of time to avoid the iceberg,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee.
The Hill’s Cristina Marcos explains why here.
- The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief law enacted on March 27 provides an additional $600 per week in unemployment insurance payments through July 31.
- Since the end of the month falls on a Friday, states would need an extension before July 25 to fully cover the last week of July, which spills into August. Otherwise, recipients’ unemployment insurance payments will be reduced to the level set by individual states.
The dangers: Former Federal Reserve chiefs Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenOn The Money: Cash-strapped cities hammered by COVID-19 beg for federal help | Trump signs bill imposing sanctions on China over Hong Kong | White House campaign advocates new ‘pathways’ to jobs amid pandemic Bernanke, Yellen to testify on federal response to coronavirus recession CBO: Prior COVID-19 emergency bills will add .4 trillion to deficit MORE and Ben Bernanke urged lawmakers Friday not to let the boost to unemployment benefits expire without a replacement or risk an economic “catastrophe.”
LEADING THE DAY
Trump says he won’t issue national mask mandate: President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash confirms he won’t seek reelection Chicago mayor to White House press secretary: ‘Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth’ Pentagon mulling plan to ban Confederate flag without mentioning it by name: report MORE says he will not issue a national mandate requiring Americans to wear masks in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“I want people to have a certain freedom and I don’t believe in that, no,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceFox’s Wallace to interview Trump on Sunday The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Argentum – California a coronavirus cautionary tale as it retrenches to stave off infections Battle over reopening schools heats up MORE that will air in full on “Fox News Sunday.”
Trump also seemed to express skepticism about the efficacy of masks, noting that public health officials initially said that facial coverings were not necessary for healthy individuals, before later adding that he is a “believer in masks.”
“I don’t agree with the statement that if everyone wore a mask, everything disappears,” Trump said, referring to Wallace’s mention of the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying that the country could get the virus under control in four to six weeks if everyone wore a mask.
- The CDC in April recommended the use of face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus after evidence showed that patients not showing symptoms could still spread COVID-19.
- Several dozen studies have shown that mask-wearing can reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus by up to 85 percent by preventing droplets and aerosols from infected individuals from spreading to others.
- A growing number of businesses, unions, and advocacy groups have urged governors to adopt statewide mask mandates as the burden of enforcement falls to vulnerable workers.
The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant has more here.
Mnuchin: Hardest-hit businesses should be able to get second PPP payment: Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Weekly jobless claims tick down, but remain above 1 million | Blacks, Hispanics less likely to receive stimulus checks quickly | Growing number of retailers requiring masks nationwide White House: Trump thinks payroll tax cut ‘must’ be part of next COVID-19 relief package Progressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters MORE said Friday that he thinks the businesses hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic should be able to receive a second round of assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
“The administration supports using the existing money and topping it up with some additional money, and that will be discussed, and allowing for a second payment to the businesses that are especially hard-hit,” Mnuchin said at a House Small Business Committee hearing.
- Under the PPP, small businesses received federal loans that can be forgiven if they are used to retain workers. About $130 billion of funds in the program remain available.
- The PPP was created by the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation that President Trump signed into law on March 27 and was expanded in subsequent legislation.
- Lawmakers and the administration are expected to ramp up discussions over another relief package next week.
The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda has more here.
Man accused of fraudulently acquiring $8.5 million in coronavirus relief aid arrested: A 40-year-old California man was arrested in Las Vegas on Thursday on a fraud charge for allegedly obtaining roughly $8.5 million in coronavirus relief money, and used some of the money to gamble in the city.
Andrew Marnell allegedly submitted multiple falsified loan applications for the federal aid that has been made available during the pandemic.
The alleged fraudulent loan applications resulted in millions of dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program, a fund created by the CARES Act passed by Congress in late March to help small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic, being paid to Marnell.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Senate Republicans are preparing to offer a five-year shield from coronavirus lawsuits as part of a forthcoming relief proposal.
- The Supreme Court on Friday granted the Manhattan district attorney’s request to expedite its recent decision rejecting President Trump’s claims of absolute immunity from a subpoena for eight years of tax returns.
- Shares in Netflix fell sharply on Friday after the streaming giant reported lower-than-expected second quarter revenue and meager expectations for new subscribers.
- The travel industry, represented by the U.S. Travel Association, on Friday called for further relief in the next coronavirus stimulus package after having been devastated by the pandemic.
- The Business Roundtable, the association of CEOs from major U.S. corporations, called on Friday for every company to mandate the use of face coverings.