Jul 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mnuchin: White House to propose reducing unemployment benefits to 70% of wages

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House will propose capping supplemental unemployment insurance in the next stimulus package to replace 70% of individuals' lost wages.

Why it matters: Republicans are opposed to extending the $600-per-week supplemental benefits included in the CARES Act passed in March, arguing that it disincentives Americans to return to work because many people made more money on unemployment than they did in their prior job. Those benefits set to expire on July 31.

What he's saying: "We want to have something which pays people about 70% wage replacement, which I think is a very fair level. So it's not a fixed number. It's something that pays you a percentage of your wages that are lost."

The other side: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said Democrats will not accept a short-term extension of unemployment aid and that she supports maintaining the $600-per-week benefits in the next stimulus.

The big picture: More than 31 million Americans are collecting unemployment benefits of some form and roughly 2.3 million filed new applications to receive them in the most recent week of data released by the Labor Department.

What to watch: Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows both said Republicans' stimulus proposal will be released on Monday, after stalled negotiations prevented Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from releasing it last week.

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