(FOX 9) - New national numbers suggest that layoffs are slowing down a bit. 1.2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, that’s fewer than the week before. But it’s still putting pressure on the Senate and House to come up with a deal on a new stimulus package.
Speaking Thursday, Senator Amy Klobuchar said lawmakers aren't any closer to reaching a deal on the package. These talks are happening between the White House leaders of the House and Senate, but it doesn’t mean senators aren't talking amongst themselves trying to cut their own deals.
"Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday,
As Pelosi raises the temperature on Senate Republican leaders to reach a stimulus package deal, senators not in the negotiations are trying to make side deals.
"I have talked to Roy Blunt three times today as we work on the funding for elections so that people can vote safely," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar. "In fact, by the way, 75 percent of people want us to move on this, and it is Republican voters as well who want to be able to vote safely."
Without a compromise, the president is threatening executive action. It could include eviction protections, unemployment benefits, and local school support.
Democrats are not budging from extending the extra $600 a week in emergency unemployment insurance benefits. Republicans have wanted reduced amounts starting about $200.
"I just think it’s pretty shameful to hold hostage the people who were receiving those benefits who no longer get them because Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi’s petulance," said Republican Sen. John Cornyn. "I just think it’s unfortunate.”
"Well, I’ll quote the president," said Senator Klobuchar. "I don’t always quote him, but he said two weeks ago it’s going to get worse before it gets better. And that is why we couldn’t immediately end that help for unemployed people and why we’re continuing that. The same with rental assistance, mortgages, a lot of people are having problems with that. And then you have the general testing."
Funding for all that the senator says she would like to see in the bill. The senator along with a number of other Democratic senators sent a letter to the postmaster general also asking for assurance that ballots will be delivered on time for the election and to give voters clear direction on when they should mail in their ballots if they are sending them in.