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A COVID Stimulus Bill Just Got More Complicated

Negotiations in Congress for a fifth COVID relief bill is now tied to negotiations to avoid another government shutdown. And neither are going well.

The Hill:
Shutdown Politics Set To Collide With Coronavirus Aid 

The odds are rising that any deal on a fifth coronavirus relief package will be tied to legislation to prevent a government shutdown. After weeks of stalemated talks, the timeline for the two fights have all but merged: The House is set to leave until after the election by Oct. 2, giving lawmakers only a matter of weeks to get a deal on another coronavirus bill. And government agencies cannot run when the next fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 without new funding from Congress. (Elis and Carney, 8/30)

Meadows Blames Pelosi For Impasse On Coronavirus Relief 

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Sunday blamed the impasse on a new coronavirus relief bill on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying the Trump administration‘s offer of $1.3 trillion deserves the Democrats’ serious attention.“Listen, we’re not going to negotiate here because the speaker’s been very clear,” Meadows told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” characterizing Pelosi as inflexible. ‘When she said $2.2 trillion, she said, ‘Don’t do anything at all.'” (Semones, 8/30)

In related news on the pandemic’s economic toll —

Roll Call:
PPP Loans Helped Out Congressional Spouses’ Workplaces

The Paycheck Protection Program isn’t accepting loan applications anymore, but the extent to which members of Congress and their families benefited from it continues to roll in. (Marquette, 8/28)

Boston Globe:
Big Job Losses Strike Several Key Industries In Mass. As Coronavirus Continues To Hit State Economy 

Massachusetts has one of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country, but the pandemic continues to take its toll on the job market, with at least 2,200 furloughs and permanent layoffs announced in the past two days by employers in key sectors of the local economy. (Edelman, 8/28)

The Wall Street Journal:
New Covid-19 Layoffs Make Job Reductions Permanent 

A new wave of layoffs is washing over the U.S. as several big companies reassess staffing plans and settle in for a long period of uncertainty. MGM Resorts International and Stanley Black & Decker Inc. recently told some employees furloughed at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic that they wouldn’t be put back on the payroll. And companies bringing back the majority of furloughed workers, including Yelp Inc. and Cheesecake Factory Inc., are making reductions as they adjust to the new reality that many coronavirus-related closures won’t be resolved this fall. (Thomas, Chaney and Cutter, 8/28)

USA Today:
Layoffs 2020: More Furloughs Are Likely To Become Permanent Job Cuts

When Stephanie Clark was temporarily laid off from her administrative job for the city of Henderson, Nevada, on March 10, during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was told she would be called back the next month. In early April, she was again assured that she would be rehired the following month. But on May 1, with the city’s finances pummeled by the shutdown of neighboring tourist mecca Las Vegas, Clark was permanently let go. (Davidson, 8/27)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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