WASHINGTON, D.C. – Another 884,000 Americans joined the unemployment ranks in the last week, bringing the total number of workers drawing unemployment benefits to 29.6 million. But while the health crisis and Trump recession grow worse, the president’s Senate allies are preparing to vote today on a “skinny” COVID-19 recovery bill that offers far too little, too late for millions of struggling families and small businesses.

While the Senate proposes a painful $300 cut to enhanced unemployment benefits, inadequate assistance for renters and public schools, and more of the same barriers to aid for small businesses in communities of color — their generosity to wealthy corporations continues. They propose blanket immunity for big businesses against claims from workers mistreated during the pandemic and a massive $184 million bailout for the coal industry.

“After months of inaction, Trump’s Senate allies are finally getting involved with the worsening health crisis and recession — but unfortunately their first order of business is more giveaways for wealthy corporations and less aid for struggling families,” said Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US. “The sooner Senators reverse those priorities, the sooner the economy stands a chance at recovery.”

The Senate must pass a relief bill that prioritizes help for struggling small businesses, workers and their families – not Trump’s wealthy friends and allies. It’s called the HEROES Act, that the U.S. House passed over 100 day ago that includes $100 billion in emergency rent aid and a full extension of the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit that expired in July.

It’s Clear More — Not Less — Needs to Be Done as The Trump Recession Continues for Millions of Americans:  

  • Fortune, 9/9: U.S. unemployment decreased in August. For young Black women it rose to 27%. Black women between the ages of 20 and 24 faced an unemployment rate of 26.8% in August, up from 25.4% in July.
  • NPR, 9/8: ‘Children Are Going Hungry’: Why Schools Are Struggling To Feed Students. In many districts, the majority of children who qualify for subsidized school meals aren’t getting them — often because they can’t get to them. And some districts said their meal-service budgets are being stretched so much by the pandemic that they could soon face cuts and layoffs.
  • Axios, 9/8: There aren’t enough jobs for America’s unemployed. In several states with job-magnet cities — like New York, California, Illinois and Massachusetts — postings are down close to 30%. “This is more a big-city recession than a rural one,” says Jed Kolko, Indeed’s chief economist.
  • New York Times, 9/7: With Washington Deadlocked on Aid, States Face Dire Fiscal Crises. Collectively, state governments will have budget shortfalls of $312 billion through the summer of 2022, according to a review by Moody’s Analytics. When local governments are factored in, the shortfall rises to $500 billion. That estimate assumes the pandemic doesn’t get worse.
  • New York Times, 9/3: Why an Eviction Ban Alone Won’t Prevent a Housing Crisis. Tenants will still be on the hook for all this unpaid rent when the moratorium expires Dec. 31. And landlords in the meantime may find it increasingly hard to make repairs and cover the mortgage. For this reason, even advocates cheering the moratorium call it a half measure. And landlord groups warn it could destabilize the housing market even more.

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