Sen. Lamar Alexander. Photo: Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

Senate Republicans and negotiators from the Trump administration are considering a short-term extension of supplemental unemployment benefits, which are set to expire on July 31, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) confirmed to reporters Wednesday.

Why it matters: A chaotic Senate Republican lunch on Tuesday revealed that the White House and GOP senators remain far apart on key priorities in the next economic package and that it's unlikely a bill will be passed by the end of next week.

The state of play: The $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress in March created an extra $600 per week in unemployment insurance, which has helped prop up an economy ravaged by coronavirus-related closures.

  • More than 32 million Americans are currently receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to Labor Department data released last week.
  • Many Republicans have voiced concerns that the supplemental benefits have disincentivized people to return to work because the enhanced unemployment pays more than their wages.
  • The length and details of the possible extension being negotiated are not yet clear.

Worth noting: While extending the expanded unemployment benefits are a priority for congressional Democrats, there's no guarantee that they would agree to back a short-term fix without additional concessions from Republicans.

Go deeper: White House, Senate Republicans far apart on stimulus talks

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National Governors Association leaders express concern over Trump's unemployment order

President Trump at a press briefing on Aug. 10. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's executive action calling on states to provide 25% of an additional $400 in weekly unemployment benefits poses "significant administrative burdens and costs," according to a bipartisan letter from the leaders of the National Governors Association.

Why it matters: Many states have had their budgets decimated by the coronavirus pandemic and cannot afford pitching in an $100 extra per unemployed resident. Several state unemployment offices told Axios that they don't even know how the program works, and that any changes to state unemployment systems would take weeks to implement.

House will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Monday that the House will not hold any floor votes until Sept. 14, though members will remain on 24-hour notice to return to Washington in case a deal on coronavirus stimulus is reached.

Why it matters: Democrats and the Trump administration remain deadlocked and have not met since negotiations broke down without a deal on Friday.

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Stimulus gridlock

August recess was supposed to start for Congress this week, but stimulus negotiations fell apart last week — prompting President Trump to circumvent Congress and attempt to extend programs put in place by the CARES Act via executive action. Now, it’s unclear if Congress is still negotiating, let alone if they’re any closer to a compromise.

Axios Re:Cap dives into what happens next — for Trump's executive actions and for congressional negotiations — with Washington Post White House economics reporter Jeff Stein.