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Republicans Fussing With Unworkable Unemployment Plan As Benefits Lapse

Senate Republicans on Monday unveiled their long-awaited proposal for another coronavirus economic stimulus package, including big changes to the enhanced unemployment benefits that are set to expire this week for millions of Americans.

Based on Republicans’ previous descriptions of their plan, a trade association for state unemployment agencies said last week it would be an implementation nightmare with wildly different results among states.

The $1 trillion measure is supposed to be a starting point for negotiations with top congressional Democrats. But already it has divided the GOP and faces stiff opposition from conservatives. It includes another round of stimulus checks, similar to those paid out earlier this year, as well as aid to schools and smaller businesses, and expanded liability protections.

The Republican proposal would reduce the extra federal unemployment benefits that Congress created in March from $600 to $200 until October, then switch to a new payment formula. 

Despite

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More Help Is Coming, But $600 Unemployment Bonus Will Lapse First

A second economic rescue package is on the horizon, one that will likely include another stimulus check, funding for small businesses and schools, additional jobless benefits and more. But as lawmakers debate the finer points, a critical provision of the first relief package is set to expire.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, or FPUC, boosts all Americans’ unemployment payments by $600 per week, automatically. That provision of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act expires July 31 unless Congress acts immediately to extend it.

That deadline is according to the wording of the CARES Act, but the payments effectively end sooner. State unemployment agencies typically operate on a Sunday to Saturday schedule (or vice versa), meaning the last unemployment payment including the $600 bonus will be paid out either July 25 or July 26.

With the clock ticking, that means jobless Americans are likely to see a lapse in their unemployment payments —

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