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Senate Democrats Change Jobless Aid in Stimulus Bill

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What You Need to Know

  • Democrats cut weekly benefits to $300 but extended the length of the program.
  • Some of the benefits won't be taxable.
  • Democrats want the bill passed by March 14, when current supplemental jobless benefits expire.

Senate Democrats have resolved differences over the level and duration of supplemental jobless benefits to be included in the pandemic-relief bill. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged that the Senate will “power through” the arduous final process of getting President Joe Biden’s first signature piece of legislation passed.

Senate Democrats agreed on $300 a week in supplemental jobless benefits, less than the $400 approved by the House, according to a Democratic aide. The bonus will last longer, however, until Oct. 4 rather than the end of August, and much of the help won’t be taxable, the aide said.

The Senate began debate on the bill Friday, ahead of the amendment-proposal stage known as the vote-a-rama. Republicans are planning a number of measures almost certain to fail but serving as a messaging device for their opposition to much of the package. Democratic leaders want final passage by March 14, when current supplemental jobless benefits expire.

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