Democrats to push for extended unemployment benefits

This Wednesday, Senate Democrats presented a proposal to extend the enhanced unemployment benefits. This action plan will occur until a drop in a state-s unemployment rate happens when it would phase out. 

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In the news article by CNBC, Congress approved the additional $600 per week in federal unemployment insurance last March. The addition is on top of what the state will most likely provide. This addition is a part of the $2 trillion pandemic rescue package. Millions of workers who lost their jobs received money through the policy. However, the policy will expire at the end of the month as the U.S. unemployment spiked up to 13%. 

Now, Senate Democrats plan to initiate a discussion with Republicans on a relief bill and letting the unemployment benefit expire at the end of July. Democrats aim to improve the program by making additional aid and tying it to the economic conditions than letting it expire on a certain date. 

This legislation will extend the enhanced insurance through March. The problem with this is that it will reduce the amount beneficiaries will receive as the economy recovers. When the state’s three-month average unemployment rate goes down, that is when the benefit will be cut by $100. They will cut $100 for every percentage point drop, and it will stop when the unemployment rate goes down to 6%. 

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer presented this bill with Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden of Oregon. In the news article, they said that by letting the benefit expire,” Millions of American families will have their legs cut out from underneath them at the worst possible time. In the middle of a pandemic, when unemployment is higher than it’s been since the Great Depression.” 

However, the GOP disagrees with the proposal. They claim that this benefit will leave many of their people to receive money more than what they would usually make when they are working. With that in mind, they believe that this will prevent employees from seeking jobs or going back to their previous work. 

This Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) stated that “to have the basic protections of unemployment insurance is extremely important and should be continued.” But, the majority leader affirms that the extra jobless benefit is a miscalculation on their part. 

On this note, the Trump administration, along with some Senate Republicans, support the idea of a back-to-work bonus. McConnell said that the Senate would discuss another aid package when they return from their two-week Fourth of July Recess. 

According to the same article, the $3 trillion relief bill that was passed in May will extend the enhanced unemployment benefit until January. 

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mdfriendofhillary/34616047884

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