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Democrats reach deal on unemployment benefits

Democrats united around a proposal to extend a federal supplemental unemployment payment, a point that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin reportedly objected to, paving the way for the American Rescue Act bill to move forward with a united Democratic caucus, NBC reports.

After hours of discussions with both Republicans and Democrats, Manchun reportedly agreed to a Democratic proposal that would allow for an extension of a federal unemployment increase of $300 per week through mid-September, as opposed to the $400 weekly payment that would end in August.

Manchin also agreed with a plan that would make the first $10,000 of annual unemployment to be tax-free, lowering the level from $12,000 that was originally in the bill.

The agreement will allow the “bill-o-rama” portion of the Senate debate to continue, allowing Senators to propose attachments to the ARA bill.  No other aspect of the bill is expected to bring as much tension within the Democratic caucus.

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