Democrats’ revised stimulus bill pushes for $600 in extra weekly unemployment through January


Francis Stallings tapes signs to her car before participating in a caravan rally down the Las Vegas Strip in support of extending the $600 unemployment benefit, August 6, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bridget Bennett | AFP | Getty Images

Democrats are continuing their push to restore $600 a week in enhanced unemployment benefits, under a revised legislative proposal intended to juice the pandemic-challenged economy.

The modified $2.2 trillion HEROES Act — a $3 trillion version cleared the Democrat-controlled House in May — was unveiled Monday. In addition to the measure providingstimulus checksand other support for struggling households and businesses, unemployed individuals would be eligible for $600 a week from the federal government through January, in addition to whatever they collect from their state.

State-allotted benefits averaged $305 a week in August, according to the Labor Department. In some states, like Louisiana and Mississippi, that aid amounted to $180 a week on average. 

However, it’s uncertain whether the Senate would consider taking up the revised bill if it clears the House this week as expected.

So far, Republican opposition to extending those enhanced benefits — at least at the $600 level — has persisted since that federal aid expired at the end of July. It originally was authorized by legislation enacted in March.

The first version of the Democrats’ HEROES Act was followed by a $1 trillion countermeasure offered by Senate Republicans in July. That bill would have implemented a $200 weekly boost instead of $600.


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