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GOP relief plan slashes unemployment benefits by 43% for average worker Jul 28, 2020
 

Unemployment benefits would be cut by nearly half in a new plan proposed by Senate Republicans on Monday.

The policy would replace a $600-a-week federal boost, which lapsed over the weekend in all states, with a reduced benefit of $200 a week

The plan would pay the new $200 subsidy through September. In October, that would be replaced by a different formula capping total state and federal jobless benefits at 70% of lost wages. 

The $200-a-week Republican plan would give the average worker about $521 a week in federal and state unemployment benefits, according to a CNBC analysis of Labor Department data for May.

That amounts to a 43% cut in total benefits when compared with the prior, $600-a-week policy, a temporary measure enacted in March under a federal relief law.

The proposal would impact nearly 32 million Americans currently receiving unemployment benefits — about five times the level of the Great Recession more than a decade ago.

‘Difficult situation’

The experience would vary significantly between states, which set their own benefit levels. 

In Oklahoma, for example, benefits would fall 62% to $244 a week under the Republican proposal — the most significant decline for any state relative to prior policy.

In Hawaii, the decline would be least severe in Hawaii — a 38% cut to $666 a week.

“That’s a pretty difficult situation for people,” Michele Evermore, senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, said of residents in states paying lesser weekly benefits.

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“Right now, we know the $600 is working,” she said. “I don’t know what’s different from the pandemic now than in March, except that it’s worse.”

Republicans want to cut federal aid for the unemployed due to the belief that it’s too generous and offers a disincentive to find work, thereby tamping down on the economic recovery.

Democrats want to extend the $600-a-week benefit, warning of economic catastrophe without it.

Proponents of current policy say it’s well targeted to those most in need of the money and is propping up consumer spending at a delicate time, when coronavirus infections are rising across the country and state officials have imposed new shutdown measures.



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Source: www.cnbc.com
 
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