Mnuchin: Unwilling to extend a boost to unemployment benefits


In a Thursday interview with CNBC, Mnuchin said that any extension of enhanced unemployment insurance would cap benefits at “no more than 100 percent” of what the recipient made before becoming unemployed.

Lead paragraphs

The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by President Trump in March added $600 to unemployment insurance in every state. The boost, which expires on July 31, was intended to help workers in industries derailed by the pandemic support themselves and continue spending money amid the lockdowns imposed to slow the pandemic.

The future of the increased benefit is one of the most contentious issues facing lawmakers as they craft another stimulus package.

Economists credit the enhanced unemployment benefits, among other stimulus efforts, with preventing a deeper plunge in economic activity. But many Republicans have expressed regrets about the boost because it pushed unemployment benefits above the average wage in many states.

“We were in an emergency. We went along with that,” Mnuchin said. “We're going to make sure that people are incented to go back to jobs,” Mnuchin said.

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