Pelosi, Schumer knock GOP over 'disarray' ahead of unemployment cliff

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe Negotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms Top federal official says more details coming on foreign election interference MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerGroup of GOP senators back more money for airlines to pay workers GOP super PAC launching August ad blitz Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package MORE (D-N.Y.) knocked Republicans on Friday, blaming their "disarray" for a looming expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits. 

“This weekend, millions of Americans will lose their Unemployment Insurance, will be at risk of being evicted from their homes, and could be laid off by state and local government, and there is only one reason: Republicans have been dithering for months while America’s crisis deepens," the congressional Democratic leaders said in a joint statement.

As part of the March $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, Congress agreed to provide a $600-per-week increase of unemployment benefits. The increased benefits are set to expire on July 31. 


Lawmakers are struggling to reach a deal on how to move forward.

House Democrats approved a bill in May that extends the payments through the end of the year. Republicans have not yet unveiled their own coronavirus proposal, but Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinNegotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms On The Money: White House warns there's likely no deal with no agreement by Friday | More generous unemployment benefits lead to better jobs: study | 167K workers added to private payrolls in July Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal MORE told reporters that it would provide a roughly 70 percent wage replacement through the end of the year. 

Roughly 32 million Americans are unemployed and the national jobless rate is just above 11 percent. In the last week, 1.4 million applied for unemployment insurance, according to Department of Labor data released Thursday, the first increase since March.

Both administration officials and Pelosi have said they want to get a deal by next Friday, July 31, a deadline they are all but guaranteed to miss. 

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsNegotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms Trump dismisses legal questions on GOP nomination speech at White House Overnight Defense: Esper says 'most believe' Beirut explosion was accident, contradicting Trump | Trump later says 'nobody knows yet' what happened in Lebanon | 61-year-old reservist ID'd as fourth military COVID-19 death MORE told reporters that if they aren't able to get an agreement on a larger coronavirus deal they should break off unemployment into a separate piece of legislation. He said the issue could potentially be paired with school funding and liability protection.


But both Democrats and Senate Republicans have shot down that idea, saying Congress needs to agree to one deal instead of multiple coronavirus packages. 

Pelosi and Schumer noted in their joint statement that they had been expecting to negotiate during the upcoming weekend. With Republicans not expected to release their opening offer until Monday, those talks are not expected to take place. 

"It is simply unacceptable that Republicans have had this entire time to reach consensus among themselves and continue to flail. Time is of the essence and lives are being lost," they added.