July 31, 2020

The $600 weekly unemployment benefit is formally expiring for millions of jobless Americans — and Congress is still fighting over what should replace it

By Joseph Zeballos-Roig

The $600 federal supplement added to state unemployment checks formally expires on Friday — and Congress is still fiercely debating its replacement as unemployment remains high and jobs are scarce.

Republicans and the Trump administration are under immense pressure to keep in place a government lifeline to the jobless.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to open up a legislative pathway through a so-called “shell bill” on Thursday. That step allows the chamber to move quickly on a short-term continuation of unemployment benefits if a plan garnered enough support, but no consensus appeared to be near on any plan. The chamber adjourned for the weekend.