Today, unemployed Michiganders will see a dramatic drop in benefits if the federal government does not act quickly.
Since April 4, the federal government has been offering an extra $600 per week for people who are unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. But that extra helps ends today.
With unemployment bonuses set to expire in days, House Democrats are urging Republicans to come to the negotiating table and extend them.
“Millions of Americans are at risk of losing everything they’ve worked for,” Rep. Dan Kildee (D) Michigan said.
Representative Kildee said the extra $600 weekly payment is a lifeline. He said many constituents fear losing it could mean losing their homes.
“The only thing holding them together has been this unemployment benefit.”
“It’s a capitalist system safety net,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Republicans’ delay could hurt millions of families and tank the economy.
“You want to see how many people will be on the street because they can’t pay their rent?” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) California said.
“Unemployment insurance is a top priority for us right now,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.
McEnany says the White House supports extending unemployment benefits as do House Republicans.
“I think we’ve just got to decide on a number and I certainly would not support the six hundred dollar a week,” Rep. Phil Roe (R) Tennessee said.
Republican Phil Roe said such a high weekly payment hurts businesses by keeping workers home. He said no worker should make more on unemployment.
“Literally saw hundreds of job available that were unfilled because of the enhanced unemployment,” Representative Roe said.
“Despite the urgency from both sides, neither Republicans nor Democrats say they’re willing to work on unemployment as a seperate issue. They say it should be part of a larger stimulus package.”
“I would be very much averse to seperating this out and losing all leverage for meeting all the other needs.”
Both parties say a compromise is unlikely before the benefits expire in Washington.