A breakdown in the talks would put at risk more than $100 billion to help reopen schools, a fresh round of $1,200 direct payments to most people and hundreds of billions of dollars for state and local governments to help them avoid furloughing workers and cutting services as tax revenues shrivel.
The coronavirus has exposed racial fractures in the U.S. health care system, as Black, Hispanic and Native Americans have been hospitalized and killed by COVID-19 at far higher rates than other groups.
An unemployed makeup artist with two toddlers and a disabled husband needs help with food and rent. A hotel manager says his unemployment has deepened his anxiety and kept him awake at night. A dental hygienist, pregnant with her third child, is struggling to afford diapers and formula.
A Democratic senator said Thursday he is launching an investigation into changes at the U.S. Postal Service that are causing delays in mail deliveries across the country just as big volume increases are expected for mail-in election voting.
Nearly 1.2 million laid-off Americans applied for state unemployment benefits last week, evidence that the coronavirus keeps forcing companies to slash jobs just as a critical $600 weekly federal jobless payment has expired.