Last-ditch talks on new aid package for US economy fail

Last-ditch negotiations at the US Congress to forge another stimulus package for the coronavirus-ravaged economy have collapsed in stalemate.

Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over everything from unemployment benefits to financial aid for schools to cash injections for states’ coffers.

The US unemployment rate stands at 10.2%, higher than any level during the 2008 financial crisis.

Jobless benefits have expired, as has a federal moratorium on evictions.

The failure to reach a deal will disappoint tens of millions of unemployed Americans who had been receiving an extra $600 (£450) a week on top of normal unemployment benefits during the pandemic. That payment expired last month and Republicans want to reduce it.

On Friday, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful elected Democrat, held a meeting in her Capitol Hill office with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Mrs Pelosi said in a news conference that she was willing to offer a billion-dollar compromise on a $3.5tn (£2.7tn) stimulus bill passed by her Democratic-controlled chamber but rejected by the Republican-held Senate.

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