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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As part of the bipartisan deal Senate leaders and the White House struck early Wednesday, unemployment benefits will be extended to groups including gig economy workers, per a statement from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Why it matters: This is an unprecedented expansion of benefits to gig economy workers, who have been classified as independent contractors instead of employees by ride-hailing and food delivery companies, among others.

Flashback: On Monday, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi sent a letter to President Trump, asking government to include gig economy workers in the stimulus bill.

  • On Friday, Khosrowshahi spoke with Schumer, and had reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (though it's unclear if they spoke).

Details: Per Schumer's letter to Democratic senators, unemployment benefits would extend to four months (instead of the three originally discussed).

  • Workers would get normal benefits from their state, plus an additional $600 per week from the federal package.
  • This applies to employees, those who are self-employed, and gig economy workers.

Yes, but: It's not clear yet exactly how the math of the benefits will be applied to gig workers, as the exact details of the bill have not been released yet. As with traditional employees, the payout will likely vary for these workers based on various factors.

What's next: The exact language of the bill once released should show whether other gig economy requests, namely Airbnb's that its short-term rental hosts receive tax credits and loans, made the cut.

Go deeper: The gig economy's coronavirus test

Go deeper

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.

Bush labels Clyburn the “savior” for Democrats

House Majority Whip James Clyburn takes a selfie Wednesday with former President George W. Bush. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush credited Rep. James Clyburn with being the "savior" of the Democratic Party, telling the South Carolinian at Wednesday's inauguration his endorsement allowed Joe Biden to win the party's presidential nomination.

Why it matters: The nation's last two-term Republican president also said Clyburn's nod allowed for the transfer of power, because he felt only Biden had the ability to unseat President Trump.

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