Democrats agree to change jobless benefit in Senate relief bill

The change would keep the benefit at $300 a week, equal to the level approved in the last pandemic aid package, which is set to expire on March 14.

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National News

March 5, 2021 - 3:52 PM

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) passes through a hallway at the U.S. Capitol on March 5, 2021, in Washington, DC. The Senate continues to debate the latest COVID-19 relief bill. Photo by (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats reached agreement Friday to reduce the federal unemployment insurance payment in the COVID-19 bill from $400 to $300 per week and extend the length of the program from the end of August through the end of September, according to a Democratic aide not authorized to speak publicly.

The amendment, from Delaware Sen. Thomas R. Carper, would also exempt $10,200 in unemployment insurance from taxes “to prevent surprise bills for unemployed at the end of year,” according to the aide.

The change would keep the new federal unemployment insurance plus-up equal to the level approved in the last pandemic aid package, which is set to expire on March 14.

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