Here's how Congress could avert another jobless benefits cliff as it moves to pass Covid relief


Ultimately, the metrics serve to inform the health of the economy and labor market. And that’s important since offering generous benefits in a healthy labor market may discourage workers from finding a job and hold back a recovery.

But each approach brings distinct pros and cons.

“It’s economic, so there are always tradeoffs,” said Ernie Tedeschi, a policy economist at Evercore ISI and former senior advisor at the Treasury Department.

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Closing Bell

President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats aim to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue package by mid-March, when current relief will end for millions of workers. While its final contours are unclear, the legislation would likely raise benefits by $400 a week through August and perhaps longer.

Biden initially called for the length and amount of relief to fall “depending on health and economic conditions,” but didn’t identify a specific trigger.  

House Democrats didn’t include such a measure in an initial legislative draft. But the Senate may opt for it, Tedeschi said. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chair of the Senate Finance Committee, supports the policy.


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