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

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance McCarthy pulls GOP picks off House economic panel GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck Schumer84 mayors call for immigration to be included in reconciliation Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? 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 MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election Democrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer 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 MeadowsWashington Post calls on Democrats to subpoena Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Meadows for testimony on Jan. 6 Trump to Pence on Jan. 6: 'You don't have the courage' Trump said whoever leaked information about stay in White House bunker should be 'executed,' author claims 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.