On The Money: Next COVID-19 bill depends on June jobs report | Treasury sent nearly $1.4B in stimulus payments to dead people | Fed bans stock buybacks, caps dividend payments for big banks after stress tests

On The Money: Next COVID-19 bill depends on June jobs report | Treasury sent nearly $1.4B in stimulus payments to dead people | Fed bans stock buybacks, caps dividend payments for big banks after stress tests
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Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money, where we’re proud to report that we’ve passed our stress test. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL—Next COVID-19 bill depends on June jobs report: The looming jobs report for June is poised to make or break the Senate’s next coronavirus relief bill.

The Labor Department will reveal next week whether the U.S. economy was able to carry a surprising May hiring surge into June and strengthen the recovery from the pandemic-driven recession.

“They don’t see the market crashing, they see a better-than-expected jobs report last month, and so their focus is very much targeted [around a] back-to-work narrative,” said Ben Koltun, senior research analyst at Beacon Policy Advisors in Washington.

“If there’s a bad jobs report — and when you see more people out of work than last month — then there may be an impetus by more Republicans in the conference to provide broader support and more stimulus spending than they’re talking about right now,” he added.

I explain why here.

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LEADING THE DAY

Treasury sent nearly $1.4B in stimulus payments to dead people: The Treasury Department and IRS sent almost 1.1 million coronavirus stimulus payments, totaling almost $1.4 billion, to dead people as of April 30, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released Thursday.

"Treasury and IRS did not use the death records to stop payments to deceased individuals for the first three batches of payments because of the legal interpretation under which IRS was operating," GAO said. The watchdog was provided the figure about the number and dollar amount of payments sent to dead people by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

The payments sent to deceased individuals are small when compared to the overall number of payments made. Treasury and the IRS have distributed about 160 million payments totaling nearly $270 billion as of May 31, according to the GAO report. The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda has more here.

Nearly 1.5 million Americans file new claims for jobless benefits: Nearly 1.5 million U.S. workers filed new applications for unemployment benefits in the third week of June despite easing coronavirus-related restrictions, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department. 

  • In the week ending June 20, the seasonally adjusted number of initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 1,480,000, a decrease of 60,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1,540,000 claims.
  • Another 728,120 U.S. workers filed claims for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which was designed to cover those who do not have jobs but don’t qualify for standard unemployment insurance. Roughly 1.6 million new claims for unemployment benefits have been filed on average in the past four weeks when not including the pandemic program.

With last week’s claims, more than 6.6 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits through both programs since the start of June — almost triple the total jobs gained in 2019. 

“In other words, there are still more people claiming unemployment each week than there were net job gains all last year,” said Julia Pollak, labor economist at ZipRecruiter, in a Thursday tweet. I break it down here.

GOOD TO KNOW

ODDS AND ENDS

  • House Democrats unveiled a major green tax package Thursday, offering tax incentives for renewables, electric vehicles and a host of other environmentally friendly businesses.
  • The Senate passed legislation on Thursday to slap sanctions on Chinese officials who restrict Hong Kong's autonomy.