For millions of Americans, the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic could be starting to take shape. Late last week, a $600 per week unemployment supplement expired. Also funding from the Paycheck Protection Program has long been depleted. The program was implemented to help employers make payroll during the pandemic.
In addition, data released last week indicated the US GDP declined by one-third in the second quarter of 2020.
While Congressional Democrats, Senate Republicans and the White House are largely in agreement on the need for a stimulus, agreeing to a framework remains in question. The two sides are at odds over how much of unemployment should be supplemented by the federal government. There is also a debate on offering businesses liability protection from coronavirus-related lawsuits.
“Today we have an emergency,” Pelosi said. “A building is on fire and they're deciding how much water they want to have in the bucket. This is very important. Millions of people could've fallen into poverty without the 600 dollars. They're so fussy about any anecdotal information they might have about somebody not going to work because they make six hundred dollars on this, but so cavalier about big money going to companies that shouldn't really be having it."
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Congressional leaders on Saturday.
"There's clearly a subset of issues where we both agree on very much,” Mnuchin said. “We're very interested in extending un-enhanced unemployment insurance, we're very interested in schools, we're very interested in jobs. I think as you know, as the Leader (Mitch) McConnell has said, liability insurance is very important to us. So there's definitely the PPP, there's a lot of bipartisan support."