The blame game has commenced in earnest now that federal unemployment benefits will expire without any hint of extension or renewal. “What we’re seeing,” chief of staff Mark Meadows complained this morning, “is politics as usual from Democrats up on Capitol Hill.” Late yesterday, the White House proposed an extension of the current benefit of $600 per week for at least another seven days to allow for the potential of more negotiations, Meadows claimed.
The answer from Democrats? Hard pass. That could leave Democrats in a delicate political position as those benefits stop arriving to the jobless, as they are refusing on the basis of wanting more overall money in the comprehensive Phase 4 relief bill. Refusing even a short-term extension for more negotiations puts Democrats in the position of hostage-takers — a bit of a flip from Mitch McConnell’s own strategy earlier this week: