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Vulnerable GOP senators offer more generous unemployment plan than their party proposed

  • August 05, 2020

Romney has shown a willingness to break with his party since he took office last year. Most notably, he was the only Republican to vote to convict President Donald Trump and remove him from office in February after his impeachment trial. Romney will not face reelection until 2024. 

In statements unveiling the bill, the senators said the benefits would help people who still cannot find work as the economy flounders. They also said the phased-out approach would not discourage people from seeking jobs. Republicans have argued the $600 payments disincentivize a return to work, though it is unclear how much of an effect it has had as industries from hospitality to entertainment and travel suffer with public health restrictions in place. 

The powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed the legislation after its release. 

Collins, a fourth-term senator, will face Democratic Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon in November. An average of recent polls shows a small lead for Gideon, according to RealClearPolitics.

McSally will run against Democratic former astronaut Mark Kelly in her bid to serve the remainder of the late Sen. John McCain’s term through 2022. Recent surveys have found Kelly leading McSally, according to RealClearPolitics.

A CNBC/Change Research poll released last month found 61% of likely voters in Arizona supported extending the $600 per week federal unemployment benefit. Only 37% of respondents opposed the policy. 

Kelly held a 47% to 45% edge over McSally in the same survey. 

A majority of respondents in both Michigan and North Carolina — two other swing states where senators face reelection this year — also supported an extension of the $600 per week benefit, according to the CNBC/Change Research poll. Democrat Gary Peters and Republican Thom Tillis are hoping to keep their seats in Michigan and North Carolina, respectively. 

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