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Trump Seems Badly Confused As He Quits Coronavirus Relief Talks

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

As President Donald Trump continues the struggle to recover from his case of COVID-19, he sent entirely mixed messages on Tuesday that left some questioning whether he retained full control of his faculties.

First, Trump torpedoed negotiations with congressional Democrats over a potential stimulus bill on Tuesday afternoon, saying that he would wait until after the election until trying again. This was a major blow to his own hopes for re-election, but the move itself could be coherently explained on ideological or tactical grounds, even if they're not compelling or persuasive.

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Unemployment Remains High As Republicans Block Relief Bill

Thursday's unemployment data showed that 1.6 million Americans filed new unemployment or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims last week, even as Senate Republicans continue to block a House-passed bill that would provide trillions in emergency relief funds.

While the number of people filing traditional unemployment claims — about 881,000 — was down a bit from the previous week, layoffs remained high. When combined with Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims, the number of total new unemployment claims was higher than the previous week.

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News Outlets Promote False Narrative Blaming Democrats For Relief Bill Failure

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

As the country grapples with the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, news shows are embracing a false Republican narrative that Democrats are to blame for a delay in the renewal of extended economic benefits. The fact is that Republicans waited until the eleventh hour to even make a proposal to begin with, while the Democratic-led House has been passing bills for months.

The economic stakes here are very high, and carry real consequences. With all the economic dislocation from the virus, the Census Bureau announced last week nearly 30 million Americans did not get enough to eat last week. While the extra $600 per week in federal unemployment assistance is keeping many people afloat, there exists the potential for up to 40 million Americans to lose their homes, "four times the amount seen during the Great Recession."

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GOP ‘Relief’ Bill Slashes Jobless Benefits But Spends Billions On Military And FBI

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the GOP's coronavirus relief bill, which would slash unemployment benefits to millions of laid-off workers by two-thirds but adds billions in unrelated spending, including nearly $30 billion in additional military spending.

The bill would cut weekly unemployment insurance to the more than 30 million laid-off workers from $600 per week to $200 per week — which economists say could lead to more hardship for tens of millions of jobless Americans.

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