Adding to the prevalent risk-aversion, Financial Times (FT) conveyed news of the U.S. policymakers' delay in offering the much-awaited phase 4 fiscal stimulus during the early Friday morning in Asia. Officials said earlier Thursday they were jettisoning a payroll tax cut that President Donald Trump wanted.
As Republicans struggled, the nation's infections topped four million, deaths rose by several thousand, to almost 145,000, and the $600 (£468) unemployment benefit boost for millions of out-of-work Americans was on track to expire.
"The administration has requested additional time to review the fine details, but we will be laying down this proposal early next week", McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday. "Now, two months and 8, 10 days have gone by, and where are they?"
The comments come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a statement Friday ripping GOP members of Congress and the White House for "disarray" and "delay" of a coronavirus relief bill that is urgently needed to help millions of Americans who are suffering under severe economic duress amid fallout from unemployment and other financial strain brought on by the pandemic.
It would also expand a loan program for small businesses; strengthen an employee retention tax credit; provide more money for testing, tracing and treating COVID-19; bolster food security programs; and provide resources to ensure safe elections and other government functions.
Over 1 million: India joins US, Brazil in grim coronavirus club
California, meanwhile, reported its largest two-day total of confirmed cases, almost 20,000, along with 258 deaths over 48 hours. Government today said that the actual case load of COVID-19 in the country is only around three lakh 42 thousand.
Republicans are considering a more "targeted" approach with a price tag reportedly around $1 trillion.
Whether to extend unemployment benefits - and by how much - is a main sticking point among Republicans. But a GOP aid told CNN that the proposal will likely be released on Monday.
Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin has said they're eyeing some form of extension, but that unemployment will be structured so it won't be more lucrative for people to take the benefits over returning to work. At an event in Kentucky, he said: "This has been one heck of a challenge for everybody in the country".
The Republican plan is expected to include another round of $1,200 checks, as well as around $70 billion for schools-half of which will be tied to reopening.
Unemployment insurance: No more extra $600 per week.
More than 4.1m cases have been recorded in the United States and more than 145,000 people have died. "Once again, the Republican Senate is far more comfortable providing relief to big corporations than relief to American workers and American families".