White House and Democrats to Resume Unemployment Benefits Talks as Millions Lose $600 Weekly Aid

Talks between the White House and the Democrats about a potential renewal of the federal unemployment benefits are set to resume on Saturday as tens of millions of Americans are kept in limbo aftter the previous relief bill expired.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will continue face to face negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer at 9 a.m. after previous talks ended in a stalemate and both sides blaming the other.

The previous $600 weekly unemployment benefit that has helped around 30 million Americans during the coronavirus pandemic officially ended on Friday.

Meadows said that Pelosi and Schumer rejected four GOP offers during the discussions, including a one-week extension of the $600-per-week federal jobless benefit.

"Those four different offers have been rejected, but more importantly, they've not even been countered with a proposal," Meadow said during a press conference.

"The democrats are willing today to let some of the American citizens who are struggling the most to go unprotected."

Republicans have proposed cutting the weekly federal benefit from $600 to $200 per week at least two months while states work out a way to move to a system which instead would replace 70 percent of a worker's prior wages

The democrats are pushing for a longer term solution which would see the federal payment extended into January 2021, as presented in their $3 trillion "HEROES Act," which was once again blocked by Republicans.

"We anticipate that we will have a bill," Pelosi during her news conference about the talks. "But we're not there yet."

Speaking to reporters, Schumer accused the GOP of not understanding "the gravity of the problem" in a week in which it was reported that the country's gross domestic product fell by 32.9 percent, and the number of COVID-19 deaths hit 150,000.

"The bottom line is this is the most serious health problem and economic problem we've had in a century and 75 years, and it takes really good strong bold action, and they don't quite get that," Schumer said.

"They've woken up to the fact that we're at a cliff, but it's too late.

"It's too late because even if we were to pass this measure, almost every state says people would not get their unemployment for weeks and months. All because of the disunity, dysfunction of the Republican caucus."

In a series of tweets, President Donald Trump blamed the stall in negotiations on

Pelosi and Schumer, who he accused of having "no interest in making a deal that is good for our Country" while also blaming the country's problems on China - where an outbreak of the coronavirus was first detected.

Trump added: "All they want is a trillion dollars, and much more, for their Radical Left Governed States, most of which are doing very badly. It is called a BAILOUT for many years of bad Dem Mgmt!

"Pelosi & Schumer blocked desperately needed unemployment payments, which is so terrible, especially since they fully understand that it was not the workers fault that they are unemployed, it's the fault of China!

"The Do Nothing Democrats are more interested in playing politics than in helping our deserving people. DRAIN THE SWAMP ON NOVEMBER 3RD!"

Mark Meadows
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks during a news briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House July 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. Meadows spoke on the new COVID-19 stimulus package that is being negotiated on Capitol Hill. Alex Wong/Getty