Another 1 Million File for Unemployment, Trump's Senate Allies Still Holding Up Aid for Workers Over 100 Days Later
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Over 1 million more Americans joined the unemployment ranks in the last week, bringing the total number of workers drawing unemployment benefits to over 27 million. But while the health crisis and recession continue to grow worse, the President’s Senate enablers inexcusably remain on vacation and no closer to reaching an agreement on the next major relief package with the U.S. House, which passed a comprehensive aid bill over 100 days ago including a full extension of the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit that expired last month.
“Millions more Americans are teetering on the edge of poverty and facing real danger of hunger, eviction and crippling debt — yet Trump’s Senate allies want to keep playing a dangerous game of chicken with the economy. The best they can muster from their vacation homes is half-hearted, half-measures that will simply not meet families’ needs during a worsening health crisis and recession,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The sooner they recognize we can’t fix the economy until we fix the health crisis, the sooner we can begin to climb out of the economic hole. The more time they waste not passing another aid bill that focuses on workers and small businesses, the deeper the hole gets.”
Poll after poll after poll has shown strong public support for extending the full $600 benefit, which had been a critical lifeline for millions of struggling families. President Trump’s recent executive orders signed from his golf course offers far too little, too late — amounting to a painful $300 benefit cut, that only last three weeks, and excludes at least a million unemployed workers. Adding insult to injury, it seriously endangers Social Security.
WHERE TO START ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY: In addition to immediately extending the CARES Act’s enhanced $600 unemployment benefits, Congress must turn the page on the Small Business Administration’s poorly designed and managed program. Rather than repeating the Trump administration’s mistakes, any new effort to help small businesses must be transparent, data-driven, and aligned with the needs of the communities that need help the most.
It’s Clear More — Not Less — Needs to Be Done as The Trump Recession Continues for Millions of Americans:
- CNBC, 8/26: More than 5 million people won’t get the $300 unemployment boost right now. Nearly half — 47% — of U.S. employers that furloughed or laid off staff due to the coronavirus pandemic are weighing additional workforce reductions over the next 12 months, according to a survey published Tuesday by Randstad RiseSmart, a career services firm.
- Bloomberg, 8/26: Why a Historic Eviction Wave Is Bearing Down on U.S. According to the Census Bureau, about a third of renters said in July that they had no confidence or slight confidence in their ability to pay for housing in August.
- Politico, 8/24: As lawmakers dig in their heels over how much cash to spend to prop up the pandemic-battered economy, the cut in unemployment aid and the expiration of a program that provided more than $500 billion in loans to small businesses to keep workers on the job are threatening to drag on the recovery.
- Yahoo! Finance, 8/24: Food insecurity is ‘growing at an alarming rate’ among children, lawmakers warn. Without full-time in-person instruction, students who otherwise would have received free or reduced breakfast, lunch, snacks, and sometimes dinner from their districts are now food insecure for up to 15 of the 21 weekly meals.
- Washington Post, 8/23: Debt, eviction and hunger: Millions fall back into crisis as stimulus and safety nets vanish. Now, data show, those gains are eroding as federal inaction deprives Americans on the financial margins of additional support.