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The White House and its GOP allies appear to be retreating from their opposition to a $600-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit that has propped up the economy and family budgets but is expiring Friday.

President Donald Trump is eager to extend the benefit, undercutting his GOP allies on Capitol Hill who have spent considerable effort devising an alternative that could unite Republicans.

The unemployment insurance is a principal element as talks continue on a COVID-19 relief bill, which is expected to grow considerably from a $1 trillion-plus GOP draft released this week. Top Democrats announced a meeting with administration representatives for Saturday morning after Thursday night talks at the Capitol failed to produce a breakthrough.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Friday that the novel coronavirus is so contagious, it likely won’t ever go away.

He made the remarks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31, 2020, in Washington, DC. Trump administration officials are set to defend the federal government’s response to the coronavirus crisis at the hearing hosted by a House panel calling for a national plan to contain the virus.

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