On The Money: McConnell: Talking about fifth coronavirus bill 'in next month or so' | Boosted unemployment benefits on the chopping block | Women suffering steeper job losses from COVID-19

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THE BIG DEAL—McConnell: Talking about fifth coronavirus bill 'in the next month or so'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance Five takeaways from a bracing day of Jan. 6 testimony McCarthy, McConnell say they didn't watch Jan. 6 hearing MORE (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that there would "likely" be a fifth coronavirus relief bill "in the next month or so."

  • "Many of you are asking, what next? I think there's likely to be another bill. It will not be the $3 trillion bill the House passed the other day. But there's still a likelihood that more will be needed," McConnell said during an event at a hospital in Louisville, Ky.
  • "In the next month or so we'll be talking about possibly another bill," McConnell added about "what may lay ahead" for Congress's response to the coronavirus, which has sparked steep economic damage since March.

McConnell's comments come as the Senate is in the middle of a one-week Memorial Day break. 

  • Senators left Washington on Thursday without taking up additional coronavirus legislation as Senate Republicans remain in a wait-and-see mode as they review the roughly $2.8 trillion already spent by Congress. 
  • McConnell has offered few predictions of what the latest coronavirus bill might look like, aside from saying that it must include liability protection for employers as the business community warns about a potential spike in lawsuits. 

"It ought to be very carefully targeted to correct the mistakes that we certainly made in passing a multitrillion-dollar bill in one week. ...There are some other needs that need to be met," McConnell said on Tuesday about potential additional legislation. The Hill’s Jordain Carney has more here.

Rocky road ahead: Democrats are already on board for more spending. The House already passed another $3 trillion economic relief package earlier this month, though Senate Republicans declared it dead before it even arrived on the other side of the Capitol.


But while a growing number of GOP senators say they should move quickly, deep divisions remain within the caucus on everything from key policy provisions and timing to if another bill should be passed at all. 

Boosted unemployment benefits on the chopping block: If and when the GOP can overcome their differences, White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE said Tuesday that he doesn't think that the $600-per-week boost to unemployment benefits will be extended in subsequent coronavirus relief legislation.

"I frankly do not believe the $600 plus up will survive the next round of talks, but I think we’ll have substitutes to deal with that issue," Kudlow, the director of President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE's National Economic Council, said in an interview on Fox News.

  • The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package Trump signed on March 27 provides a $600 per week increase to unemployment benefits through the end of July to help the millions of Americans who abruptly lost their jobs due to the coronavirus. 
  • The benefits were increased by a flat amount so that states could quickly administer the change.
  • Democrats are largely supportive of the increased benefits, with House Democrats passing a bill earlier this month that would extend the $600 weekly boost through January 2021. But Republicans argue that the increase is creating a disincentive for people to go back to work, since some people are receiving more in unemployment benefits than they were in wages before they lost their jobs.

The alternative? Some Republican lawmakers, such as Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanBiden, Sinema meet as infrastructure talks hit rough patch Feehery: It's time for Senate Republicans to play hardball on infrastructure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Crunch time for bipartisan plan; first Jan. 6 hearing today MORE (Ohio) and Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyRepublicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change GOP, business groups snipe at Biden restaurant remarks Top Democrat offers bill to overhaul tax break for business owners MORE (Texas), have floated the idea of a "back to work bonus," in which people who reenter the workforce could keep some portion of their unemployment benefits for some amount of time. The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda has more here.

Read more: Five questions about the next COVID-19 relief package




Women suffering steeper job losses in COVID-19 economy: The economic devastation caused by the coronavirus has hit women particularly hard, a contrast to the 2009 downturn that was known as "the men's recession."

The latest employment figures show that women, by a 10-point margin, have seen the majority of the job losses as large parts of the economy have shut down.

The difference could have implications for the recovery and what policymakers need to do to ensure it’s not drawn out. The Hill’s Niv Elis tells us why here.

  • One primary reason that women are seeing higher unemployment rates is that the pandemic and the lockdowns have hit sectors of the economy that disproportionately employ women.
  • While the Great Recession hit male-dominated industries such as construction and manufacturing first, the total lockdowns of the past few months have been tougher on certain retail sectors where women make up a significant majority of employees.
  • But Elise Gould, a senior economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, said there’s more to the story. “Even in the male-dominated industries, women are losing their jobs at greater rates,” she said.

Dow closes just shy of 25,000 for first time since March: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed just under the 25,000 marker Tuesday after earlier crossing the milestone for the first time since March 10.

The Dow closed at 24,995, up 530 points, or 2.2 percent, after earlier touching a session high of 25,176. The average first passed 25,000 in December 2017.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 similarly crossed 3,000 for the first time since March 5, but closed at 2,991, up 1.2 percent. The S&P, often seen as a better gauge of the market as a whole, first crossed 3,000 last July.

Markets were bubbly as cities and states across the country moved to scale back lockdowns and gradually open their economies back up. And a masked Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoWant to improve vaccine rates? Ask for this endorsement Scarborough pleads with Biden to mandate vaccines for teachers, health workers Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? MORE (D) rang the opening bell Tuesday as the New York Stock Exchange trading floor opened for the first time in two months.


  • The Treasury Department and IRS on Tuesday released final regulations under which certain tax-exempt groups will no longer be required to provide the names and addresses of major donors on annual returns filed with the IRS.
  • More than 80 percent of public companies that received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have kept the money, according to an analysis by market research firm FactSquared.
  • A federal court in Montana invalidated 440 oil and gas leases sold across the West, ruling Friday the Trump administration did not properly follow a plan to protect sage grouse habitat. 
  • The U.S. is likely to enter a period of “slow burn” of coronavirus cases through the summer, with coronavirus cases and deaths down from their peak but still taking a heavy toll, experts say.