Update: As unemployment doubles, early divisions form over potential infrastructure bill
Unemployment claims are at a historic high, according to a report by the Labor Department. More than 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, double from the week before. Just last year, the weekly total was 211,000, according to NPR.
“This kind of upending of the labor market in such a short time is unheard of,” said economist Heidi Shierhol from the Economic Policy Institute.
The government will release the March jobs report on Friday, which will end a 113-month streak in job growth. Many economists predict that up to 20 million jobs could be lost by the end of April, according to an article by AP News.
President Trump has introduced the possibility of a multi trillion dollar infrastructure bill that would promote jobs and support the coronavirus-battered economy. Trump campaigned on the promise of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan back in 2016, according to AP News.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi followed suit on Wednesday, expanding on a five-year, $760 billion proposal introduced in January. The proposal would include $10 million for community health centers and grants for drinking water and wastewater utility bills for low income communities, according to the New York Times.
Though both sides of the political party agree on some version of an infrastructure bill, Senator Mitch McConnell warned that it may become just another way for Democrats to push their own personal agenda.
“Before we go at this again — remember this is $2 trillion we added to the debt,” said McConnell on Fox News Radio Tuesday. “We need to make certain that any further actions we take are directly related to this public health crisis.”
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