Unemployment

Unemployment benefits extension passed in Michigan House

LANSING, MI – State lawmakers have struck a deal with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on unemployment benefits reform.

The Michigan House voted 101-0 after midnight during its Wednesday, Oct. 14 session to approve Senate bills 886 and 911, which closely mirror Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-76. The legislation would put temporary pandemic measures in place for Michigan’s unemployment system until the end of the year.

The Senate unanimously passed both bills with technical language substitutes later Wednesday morning. Negotiations between Whitmer, the House and the Senate started Tuesday, Oct. 13 and lasted into the wee hours of the next morning.

Read more: Michigan unemployment pitfalls following Supreme Court ruling could be fixed with Senate bill

After the Michigan Supreme Court struck down Whitmer’s emergency powers, she charged the legislature with ensuring unemployment benefits remain in place. An issue that held up negotiations between Whitmer, the House and Senate involved the unemployment bills being tie-barred to a package on COVID-19 lawsuit liability.

House bills 6030, 6031, 6032 and 6101 provide lawsuit standards for COVID-19 exposure for businesses, employees and people visiting said businesses. Whitmer has previously called the package “a solution in search of a problem.”

Related: Michigan House approves bills establishing COVID-19 lawsuit standards

Both sides dropped the tie-bar requirement, and both sets of legislation were approved separately.

The deal is “great news for working families and small businesses,” tweeted Speaker of the House Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering.

“We have a deal on unemployment benefits and liability reform,” he said via Twitter. “The tie bar is no longer necessary, because we found common ground.”

The COVID-19 liability package passed in the Michigan Senate, some with bipartisan support and some on partisan lines.

State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, sponsored the Senate bills and said Tuesday afternoon that he was optimistic the

A top House Republican criticized the $400 weekly federal unemployment benefit in the White House stimulus plan, saying the GOP doesn’t want ‘wasteful spending’



Kevin Brady wearing a suit and tie: Republican Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas on Capitol Hill. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo


© Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
Republican Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas on Capitol Hill. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

  • Rep, Kevin Brady criticized elements of the White House plan, including a $400 federal unemployment benefit.
  • “The worry is: ‘How much wasteful spending will we have to swallow to do this?” Brady said in a Fox Business interview.
  • Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways & Means Committee, expressed concern that a $400 federal unemployment benefit disincentivizes work.
  • Numerous studies indicate an earlier $600 federal benefit didn’t keep people out of the labor force.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas — the ranking Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee — was critical of elements within the White House’s stimulus proposal on Thursday, including a $400 weekly federal unemployment benefit.

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During an interview with Fox Business, Brady said many Republicans are reluctant to back a stimulus plan with a big price tag.

“The worry is: ‘How much wasteful spending will we have to swallow to do this?” Brady said, adding he wanted the federal government to prioritize spending on thwarting the coronavirus and aiding the jobless.

But he expressed concern that a $400 federal supplement to state unemployment checks would disincentivize people from seeking work, arguing many would earn more out of work than on the job as a result.

It’s a claim often made by Republicans about the economic impact of the $600 federal unemployment benefit that expired in late July. Numerous studies show it didn’t keep jobless people out of the workforce.

Brady said “targeted help” was needed, particularly to airlines moving ahead with layoffs and the restaurant industry.

Read more: BlackRock’s investment chief breaks down why Congress passing a second round of fiscal stimulus is ‘quite serious’ for markets and

The White House is proposing a $400 federal unemployment benefit as part of stimulus package

  • The White House is proposing a $400-a-week federal unemployment benefit as part of its stimulus package.
  • It would be retroactive to September 12, Roll Call first reported.
  • There appears to be early agreement among lawmakers and the White House that any federal benefit should pick up where an administration program left off.
  • “I think a lot of it is probably cost, and some of it is trying not to interact with a really weird program we don’t fully understand,” unemployment expert Michele Evermore told Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The White House is proposing to restore federal unemployment benefits at $400-per-week as part of its $1.6 stimulus plan offered to Democrats on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported.

The plan would be retroactive to September 12, per Roll Call, which first reported the details of the Trump administration’s spending proposal, and expire on January 1.

It means payments would be dated just over a week after the Federal Emergency Management Administration said it was capping funding for six weeks of $300 jobless benefits for states taking up the federal “Lost Wages” program through September 5. President Donald Trump enacted it in early August through an executive order.

There appears to be early agreement among lawmakers and the White House for the federal government to pick up where FEMA left off. Democrats are proposing reviving a $600 federal benefit that expired in the summer through January, making it retroactive to September 6.

Read more: Stimulus talks press on as dealmakers push for another boost to unemployment payments. Here’s everything you need to know about the rescue package.

Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, said lawmakers are likely trying to avoid technical hurdles that could emerge if payments were retroactive to August, such as a

House Democrats stimulus plan: Unemployment benefits, direct payments

House Democrats on Monday unveiled a $2.2 trillion stimulus plan that includes reviving the $600 federal unemployment benefit and sending a second round of stimulus checks to millions of American taxpayers.

House Democrats in May passed a $3.4 trillion spending package called the Heroes Act. (The new proposal has the same name.) It formed the basis of their coronavirus relief negotiations with Republicans, though they have lowered their demands and now insist on at least $2.2 trillion in new spending.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she aimed to bring Republicans back to the negotiating table with the new proposal.

“Democrats are making good on our promise to compromise with this updated bill, which is necessary to address the immediate health and economic crisis facing America’s working families right now,” she said in a letter to members of her caucus.

Here are several of the package’s provisions:

  • $600 weekly federal unemployment benefits until January 31, retroactive from September 6.
  • Another round of $1,200 direct payments, plus $500 per dependent.
  • $436 billion in additional assistance to state and local governments.
  • A reinstatement of the Paycheck Protection Program to aid small businesses as well as nonprofits and restaurants.
  • $225 billion in funds to help schools.
  • $75 billion for coronavirus testing and contact tracing.
  • $50 billion in emergency rental assistance, half of what Democrats initially sought.

Read more: Stimulus talks resume as dealmakers work toward another round of checks. Here’s everything you need to know about the rescue package.

Many components of the last major economic relief law, the CARES Act, expired over the summer, and Congress hasn’t implemented other relief measures since.

Through an executive order in August, President Donald Trump implemented a Lost Wages Assistance program that drew $44 billion in disaster relief funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover