Mnuchin Reveals Unemployment Plan Going Forward

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Image credit to Wiki Media. Image modified from original.

Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin recently came on Fox News to discuss the fourth coronavirus relief package. There has been a delay in the announcement of the package due to the differences amongst Republicans about it.

Steve denied of any such differences and said that the delay happened because of the technicalities of framing the relief package.

Covid-19 Relief running out

The already announced relief packages are running out, and the eviction ban has already ended on July 25th. Likewise, the temporary unemployment benefits of $600 weekly have ended on July 31st.

On August 8th, the Payroll Protection Program will also end, and if the fourth plan is not announced soon, the businesses and unemployed population will suffer the loss.

The plan forward

Mnuchin discussed the unemployment plan and relief package on Fox News.

Mnuchin opposed the previous policy of giving weekly benefits of $600 to the unemployed. He said that the policy had encouraged the people to stay home rather than going for work. 

The new policy will give unemployed people up to 70% of their salaries and wages. This will give the incentive to the Americans to go back to work.

Another round of $1,200 stimulus will be given in August. The whole G.O.P. package values around $1 trillion.

The negotiations relating to the package will carry on. Steve Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, Chief of Staff, will be having a meeting in Capitol Hill for working on the technical issues in the draft. The package will deal with the unemployment relief, paycheck protection plans, tax credits to rehire, etc.

What other leaders have said

Recently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that hopefully, they could come together behind a package on which everybody can agree on in the coming few weeks.

Mark Meadows also said that they are focusing on immediate needs first, and then they will do the negotiation for further plans in August.

If this is true, then it is a concern for the laid-off workers and businesses as all the other plans are ending before August.

When asked about this issue, Mnuchin said that the amount of package is large, and it can’t be used at once. He said that certain issues would be prioritized, and relief for such issues will be given in a shorter time frame than the others.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already said that she will not accept any proposal that does not include increased unemployment benefits. Thus, Mnuchin and Meadows will have to negotiate with the Senate Republicans over the details of the bill.

Steve also said that there might be some more packages as this is a problem of long term unemployment.

Discussion about the economic recovery

The reporter also asked Steve about the steps taken to revive the economy and giving employment to 32 million people who got unemployed because of the pandemic. He also asked how the resurge in the COVID-19 will be affecting the economy and if there will be a double-dip recession.

Steve replied that the administration had created around 10 million job opportunities, and as a result, unemployment has come down to 30 million from 40 million. He also said that few parts of the economy are doing well while few are going through a recession.

Steve said that the administration has been able to handle the situation of New York and New Jersey with their efforts. They will continue to inject more money into the economy for recovery. Supporting small businesses and kids to go back to school will be their priority.

When asked about the negative 33% GDP growth in the economy and the administration’s expectation, he replied that they knew that the economy would contract. This happened because of the lockdown as the entire economy was shut down. He said that the economy would revive when the markets start opening up. He gave the example of the Retail sector, which was open throughout the lockdown and saw a growth of 1% from last year in June.

To sum it up

The administration is taking a lot of steps to revive the economy and get things back to normal. It might take some time because of the amount that needs to be injected into the economy for its recovery.

The administration has prioritized certain issues such as unemployment insurance, relief to small businesses, and sending kids back to school. The economy might see a high recovery rate once the markets open up.



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