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US Congressional Democrats and Republicans fail to reach an Agreement over Stimulus Package as Unemployment Rate reach Record High

  • The Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress have failed to agree in the last-ditch negotiations on releasing another stimulus package for the COVID-19-ravaged economy. Whether the issue is regarding the release of unemployment benefits, financial aid for schools, cash injections for the coffers of the US states, or other issues, the Democrats and Republicans remained at odds. Both the federal moratorium on evictions and jobless benefits have expired in the United States and the current unemployment rate (hovering around 10.2%) has become worse than that of the 2008 US financial crisis. The political leaders remain divided over the issues such as mask orders, closure of businesses, testing, and reopening of schools as the country witnessed 10,000 deaths due to COVID-19 infection in the last 9-days (total coronavirus deaths has surpassed 160,000 in the US). The US President Donald Trump has said that he will grant financial relief to Americans unilaterally after the talks with the US congressional democrats ended in a stalemate. The democratic leader and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi have said on Friday in a press conference that she was willing of approving US$3.5 trillion stimulus bill (which was passed by her Democratic-controlled chamber) but it was rejected by the Senate (having a Republican-majority). The Republicans reportedly want to reduce the extra payment of US$600 per week in addition to the normal unemployment benefits during the pandemic. Tens of millions of unemployed Americans are disappointed after the US Congress failed to reach a deal. An internist in Atlanta, Dr. Melanie Thompson, has suggested that the elected leaders must address this crisis not as a political issue but a public health issue.