AOC to file bill extending pandemic unemployment aid

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US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will file legislation to expand federal pandemic unemployment relief into early 2022 after benefits for millions of Americans end in September.

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“I am deeply disappointed on both sides of the aisle that we have allowed pandemic unemployment aid to be fully exhausted when we have clearly not fully recovered from the cost impact of the pandemic,” she told her monthly town hall. said during According to a statement from his office, the constituents on September 14.

“I just can’t let this happen without at least trying,” she said.


The law proposes to retroactively extend all federal unemployment assistance through February 1, 2022, to September 8. A suite of jobless aid related to Covid-19 for more than 7.5 million people ended on Labor Day.

That day, three programs ended—one provided an additional $300 in weekly federal unemployment assistance, another provided relief to unemployed Americans who would not otherwise qualify, and another expanded federal aid to those who didn’t qualify at the state-level. benefits were exhausted.

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President Joe Biden has suggested that states should allocate other relief funds to continue unemployment aid, but state lawmakers appear unprepared to do so, and Congress and the White House have sought to revive aid in the midst of the pandemic. No readiness is indicated for and its economic consequences.

A key component of the now-defunct federal aid includes a weekly supplement to state jobless benefits, initially adding $600 a week from April to July 2020, then $300 per week, after reviving it in December. To fall

Congress also created two other programs—the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program that supported independent contractors and self-employed Americans, while Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation provided jobless assistance to those who exhausted their state benefits.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 9 million people were receiving benefits from the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, and nearly 100,000 others filed initial claims for the latter program within the last week of August.

Increased unemployment aid lifted 5.5 million Americans out of poverty, According to the US Census Bureau. Direct stimulus payments lifted 5.5 million people out of poverty, the agency found in its latest report.

When those gains are taken into account, the country’s poverty rate fell from 2.6 percent in 2019 to 9.1 percent in 2020, the lowest rate since 2009, when the agency began accounting for impacts from all government aid in its annual poverty assessment. did.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report also suggests that pandemic relief helped stave off a major hunger crisis in 2020, while massive unemployment in the wake of the pandemic’s onset has hit black families, families with children, and people in the South. kind of affected.

The report found that 10.5 percent of all U.S. households were food insecure, or nearly 14 million households — rates that remained unchanged from 2019.

The end of COVID-19-related unemployment aid follows the loss of benefits for nearly 3 million Americans, who were cut from some or all unemployment aid in half of all US states – all but one governed by Republicans – to residents. Back to work earlier this summer to push.

Analysts have argued that cutting those gains rent did not increase.

For every eight workers who lose their unemployment assistance, Only one got a job.

Without adequate or consistent safeguards against COVID-19 transmission, more than 3 million people were not employed due to health concerns, while another 5.5 million were caring for children who are not in school or in daycare are enrolled, according to a recent survey from the US Census Bureau.

Chief economist Raqueen Mabood said the cliff of unemployment aid “could not have come at a worse time”. Groundwork colleague. “Millions of people will suffer as they lose this vital source of income and the loss of spending will stifle job growth, setting us back once again in our efforts for an inclusive and equitable recovery.”

Credit: / AOC

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