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Rep. Dean Phillips says that Congress trying to get new unemployment aid done

"Congress has got to come together and do its work and we're frustrated"

Last-minute talks on Capitol Hill to continue virus aid, including the $600 worth of weekly supplemental unemployment benefits, have collapsed this afternoon.

Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips tells WCCO's Chad Hartman he's troubled by what he calls the "obstinance" that is rewarded in Congress instead of the conclusions. Phillips says the President may end up stepping in.

"He may likely tonight issue some executive orders," said Phillips.  "But as I'm telling people, Congress has the power of the purse. The president has the power of the pulpit and he may do so, but at the end of the day, Congress has got to come together and do its work and we're frustrated." 

Phillips says the people he has talked to are desperate for more help from the government.  

"I'm hearing this, the worst stories you can imagine from, from mothers and fathers, from businesses, people have poured their entire life savings into their small enterprises that were going to provide for their retirement, Phillips tells WCCO. "What troubles me is that we know what we need to do. What troubles me is the obstinance that is rewarded in Congress instead of conclusions."

Today is an informal deadline for Congress to reach agreement on COVID-19 rescue money, not only in the form of unemployment benefits, but also in aid to states and local governments.