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Jobless aid fight slows relief bill; minimum wage hike axed
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Jobless aid fight slows relief bill; minimum wage hike axed

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President Joe Biden said Friday that the latest government jobs report proves that his virus stimulus bill, the American Rescue Plan, is "urgently needed."

Democrats laid aside one battle over boosting the minimum wage but promptly descended into another internal fight Friday as the party haltingly tried moving its $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill through the Senate.

Hours after asserting they’d reached a deal between party moderates and progressives over renewing emergency unemployment benefits, lawmakers said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., now preferred a less generous Republican version of the payments.

Manchin is probably the chamber’s most conservative Democratic and a kingmaker in a 50-50 Senate that leaves his party without a vote to spare. With Democrats’ scanty majorities — they have a mere 10-vote House edge — the party can’t tilt too far to the center without losing progressive support. Read more:

Here's an update on developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.

  • Joe Biden is enjoying an early presidential honeymoon, with 60% of Americans approving of his job performance thus far and even more backing his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

  • More than 27 million Americans fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will have to keep waiting for guidance from federal health officials for what they should and shouldn’t do. The Biden administration said Friday it’s focused on getting the guidance right and accommodating emerging science, but the delays add to the uncertainty around bringing about an end to the pandemic as the nation’s virus fatigue grows.
  • A new U.S. government study adds to the evidence that mask mandates work and that eating in restaurants increases COVID-19 cases and deaths.

  • Employers added 379,000 jobs, the government said Friday, the most since October and far surpassing economists' predictions. The unemployment rate, which dipped to 6.2%, has now dropped nearly every month since it peaked at 14.8% in April of last year after the pandemic erupted in the United States and inflicted breathtaking job losses.
  • Getting a mammogram or other cancer check soon after a COVID-19 vaccination? Be sure to tell the doctor about the shot to avoid false alarm over a temporary side effect. That's the advice from cancer experts and radiologists.
  • Detroit this week turned down 6,200 doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, with Mayor Mike Duggan favoring shots from Pfizer and Moderna for now.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for the latest virus numbers.

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