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

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Trump supporters could hand Senate control to Democrats 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 MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates Sweeping financial crimes bill to hitch a ride on defense measure On The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K 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 MeadowsAlyssa Farah resigns as White House communications director Trump hits Barr over voter fraud remarks: 'He hasn't looked' Trump had tense meeting with Barr after statement DOJ found no widespread election fraud: reports 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.