GOP Weighs Jobless Aid Cuts As Layoffs Surpass 38 Million

A man sits at a bus stop while wearing a face mask in Wheeling, Ill., Thursday, May 21, 2020. More than 2.4 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the viral outbreak that triggered widespread business shutdowns two months ago and sent the economy into a deep recession. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

(AP) – Capitol Hill Republicans want to phase out unemployment benefits to encourage Americans to go back to work — although it’s not clear when there will be jobs to return to. With the nation’s death toll from COVID-19 poised to hit 100,000 and layoffs surpassing 38 million, some lawmakers see a failure by Washington to act as untenable.

Last week, the House passed a $3 trillion virus relief package, but the Senate has yet to act. The Senate is trying to fast-track an extension of a popular small business lending program, but McConnell has said new proposals would be considered next month. And senators have left town until after Memorial Day.

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