Mitch Mcconnell Says GOP Won’t Go Along With Beefed-Up Unemployment Benefits Again

( One of the main features of the Cares Act was a bonus added to unemployment benefits. Laid-off or furloughed workers who qualified for the support would receive their normal weekly payout from the state, plus an additional $600 per week from the federal government.
That added money, plus an extension on how long people could qualify for unemployment benefits, was something Democrats were insistent on in order for them to sign on and pass the massive economic stimulus bill.
For the next round of economic stimulus, though, don’t expect those benefits to continue — if Mitch McConnell has his way.
The Senate Majority Leader promised on Wednesday that this unemployment benefit “will not be in the next bill,” whenever that is eventually passed. McConnell told Republican members of the House on a call that he’s comfortable with waiting longer to pass another stimulus bill until the full effects of the first four can truly be seen.
And while McConnell seemed OK with the prospect of passing a fifth coronavirus stimulus bill, he said it won’t resemble anything like what House Democrats passed last week, according to a Politico report.
This line in the sand by McConnell could set up quite the fight with Democrats when real negotiations finally start to take place. That’s because Democrats are being told unemployment benefits will need even more support, while the Republicans are getting the message that it needs to end.
Democratic leaders of Senate committees were told by Mark Zandi, an economist, that Congress has to extend that $600 unemployment benefit and also “quickly” move to give extra aid to cities and states. Zandi predicted a lot more jobs could be lost if action isn’t taken soon, as those local governments are “teetering on the financial edge.”
But McConnell is likely to stand firm on his opposition to giving unemployed people so much money. He said Republicans are “going to have to clean up the Democrats’ crazy policy that is paying more people to remain unemployed than they would earn if they went back to work.”
One of McConnell’s main concerns in the next coronavirus stimulus package is including some sort of liability reform. He said there are trial lawyer “vultures” who are just waiting to file lawsuits against business owners. He’s said not protecting business owners from suits related to COVID-19 exposure would “dramatically slow” the country’s economic recovery. He even went as far as calling it a “red line” in negotiations with Democrats.
Republicans haven’t crafted a specific plan yet. However, McConnell said the proposal would be “narrowly crafted liability protection to target healthcare workers and others who have been on the front line here with something brand new that people were unclear of how to deal with.”
In general, the idea would be to create a “higher bar” for allowing patients, customers and/or employees to sue business owners if they’re exposed to or end up contracting COVID-19 while they are at work.