Who CARES about the unemployed? How COVID benefit bill died in the Senate
Added 08-03-20 04:11:02pm EST - “Democrats passed a bill extending them in May, but Republicans were unable to agree on their own legislation that would have extended the benefits while also cutting them.” - News.yahoo.com
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On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act into law. The CARES Act included a number of measures meant to support Americans whose livelihoods were affected by the pandemic, including a one-time $1,200 stimulus check for many Americans, $600 per week in enhanced unemployment benefits and eviction protections for tenants who lived in housing with federally backed mortgages.
The expanded unemployment that was keeping 30 million Americans — disproportionately women and minorities — afloat expired at the end of July, meaning things will quickly get worse for those who were already in danger of being unable to afford food and housing. The downstream effects are likely to be felt throughout the economy, which already posted its worst decline in history in the second quarter. How did the federal government fail to extend the benefits, despite their popularity in public polling?
In May, Democrats in the House passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. It included another round of stimulus checks and an extension of the enhanced unemployment at a rate of $600 per week through January 2021. The act also suspended interest payments on federally backed student loans, provided rental and mortgage assistance, and allowed hazard pay for essential workers. It also provided funding for the U.S. Postal Service, for local and state governments that have seen their tax revenues depleted with the slowed economy, for election planning and security, and for COVID-19 testing and tracing.
President Trump immediately dismissed the legislation, and was particularly scornful of the funding for mail-in ballots, which he has denounced (without evidence) as a source of fraud.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it “an unserious product from an unserious House majority.”
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