The federal coronavirus unemployment insurance that has been paying $600 a week since March 2020 will expire at the end of July and the top Senate Republican said it will not be returning in the next phase of coronavirus relief.
The House passed legislation to extend the CARES Act that has been paying unemployment benefits to more than 25 million people. Democrats want to extend the $600 boost through January.
The next phase of coronavirus relief is expected to pass in the Senate by the end of July. There are members of the Senate who believe that CARES Act has encouraged Americans to remain jobless.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. stated to reporters: “Unemployment is extremely important. And we need to make sure, for those who are not able to recover their jobs, unemployment is adequate. That is a different issue from whether we ought to pay people a bonus not to go back to work. And so I think that was a mistake.”
“And we’re hearing it all over the country, that it’s made it harder actually to get people back to work. But to have the basic protections of unemployment insurance is extremely important and should be continued.”
On June 4, a report was put out by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that discovered if the unemployment provisions in the CARES Act are extended through January, “Roughly five of every six recipients would receive benefits that exceeded the weekly amounts they could expect to earn from work during these six months.”
Additionally, the report showed that extending the benefits would boost the national economic output for the second half of the year and lead to more spending than if the benefits expired.
“The $600 boost to benefits has been vital in maintaining consumer demand. Workers who are unemployed are still able to pay the rent and buy groceries. which is propping up the economy. Even if millions of Americans go back to work, if millions of Americans who remain unemployed are suddenly unable to pay their bills, the economy will get worse, not better,” according to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the ranking member of the Finance Committee.
By Jeanette Vietti
NBC News: THe $600 federal unemployment benefit ends this month. GOP senators say enough already.
The Hill: Senate Democrats offer plan to extend added jobless benefits during pandemic
Mother Jones: Democrats Wants to Take the Fate the Fate of the Unemployed Out of Mitch McConnell’s Hands
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