More than 25 million Americans who lost their job due to COVID-19 shut downs continue to receive unemployment benefits. Yet, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats continue to stall additional targeted COVID-relief, including for unemployed workers.
In August, President Trump stepped-in to fill the void caused by Democrats’ inaction by using executive authority to create the Lost Wages Assistance Program. This program helped prevent a cliff for unemployed workers who were previously receiving the $600/week CARES Act supplement that expired in July. States were authorized to access up to $44 billion in disaster-relief funds to pay up to six weeks in supplemental benefits.
Forty-four states opted-in to the program enabling them to provide an additional $300/week or $400/week in benefits to unemployment claimants. These benefits are now making their way into the pockets of American families across the country.
The CARES Act provided $600 in weekly unemployment benefits. At $600/week, nearly two-thirds of workers were receiving more on unemployment than when they were working – creating concerns among businesses looking to re-hire. The White House and Senate Republicans have made offers to provide a smaller supplement through the end of the year, understanding that families continue to need help as the economy re-opens. At the same time, this makes sure Main Street businesses don’t have to compete with unemployment benefits for workers. Democrats continue to block these and other efforts, making false claims that Republicans are responsible for Congressional inaction.
Through the Lost Wages Assistance Program and other efforts, President Trump and the White House continue to show that this Administration will go the extra mile to find ways to support Americans through the pandemic.
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