Millions Lose 600 Dollar Unemployment Benefits
The extra $600-per-week federal pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) benefit from the CARES Act, passed in March, expireed on July 31, 2020. Also expiring is the temporary ban on evictions and late fees until July 25. CARES also protected renters by requiring a 30-day notice to vacate before you can be evicted.
For many Americans, this could mean serious financial trouble for those hit hardest by the pandemic and economic collapse. Nearly 18 million people are still unemployed, according to the Department of Labor. And, the U.S. economy shrunk by more than nine percent in the second quarter of 2020, the worst drop ever recorded. Businesses are filing bankruptcy every day, and stores and restaurants are shuttering left and right.
And, that’s all happening with the extra $600 pandemic unemployment. Imagine what happens next?
Congress Voting on New Stimulus Package
The debate will continue next week, with Friday, August 7, being the last day before a month-long recess. Many have speculated that an agreement will happen by that time. But, for now, they couldn’t be farther from agreeing. Democrats in the House passed the HEROES act, which the Senate voted against. Then, Republicans in the Senate drafted its own HEALS Act but a reported “half” of Republicans will vote “No” according to Forbes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) added the stimulus discussion the calendar to force debate on the issue on the floor next week. But, at this point it’s still up in the air.
Sadly, even if this passes next week there will still be a lapse since the $600 per week benefit has already ended. Even though it expires on July 31, the way most states calculate unemployment means that the pay actually ended on the 25th. And, it will take time to implement the new stimulus package – if they can agree on one.
How it Stands Now:
- Republicans in the Senate want to implement a $200 per week (or 66% of lost wages) unemployment benefit.
- Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) unsuccessfully attempted to pass a one-week extension to the $600 in boosted benefits, because it doesn’t address anything else or what happens after that week.
- The New York Democrats then proceeded to try again to pass the Heroes Act which would extend the $600 pandemic unemployment act into 2021, which Republicans blocked.
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows offered a longer extension of the $600-per-week benefit to cover several months, which was rejected because it only covered the pandemic unemployment assistance and nothing else.
How YOU Can Help Extend the Pandemic Unemployment!
Secondly, write an email to your Congresspeople! Tell them what you think about another round of pandemic stimulus relief.