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Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said this week it would introduce new legislation to restore unemployment benefits for millions of Americans after Congress allowed three federal programs to take effect during the early days. coronavirus The pandemic ended last week.

The New York Democrat said Tuesday night, “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 effects of the pandemic.” ” A virtual town hall. “I just can’t let this happen without at least trying.”


According to a recent one, an estimated 7.5 million workers saw all unemployment benefits on Labor Day, while another 3 million lost an additional $300 boost to their state’s jobless aid. Report published by Left-Leaning Century Foundation. The three programs that ended that day provided out-of-work Americans an additional $300 a week on top of their regular state benefits, offered assistance to workers who weren’t usually eligible and ended State unemployment benefits were increased.

Biden admin urges some states to extend additional unemployment benefits before deadline

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Default of unemployed aid, established by Congress There could be a sharp drop in spending when the virus forced an unprecedented shutdown of the country’s economy nearly 18 months ago: The Century Foundation estimated that ending programs would take about $5 billion a week from the economy. , thereby slowing its progress to pre-pandemic levels.

Twenty-six states ended unemployment programs before the official cut-off date, a move aimed at helping businesses struggling to keep workers.

Critics have argued that other factors, such as a lack of child care, cause low hiring and have said that exiting the relief program before it is officially terminated would hurt unemployed Americans with no income. Not because they search for a new job.

Still, even with the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, there appeared to be little momentum on Capitol Hill to extend the benefits. President Biden It called it “appropriate” to end the programs as planned in September, though his administration encouraged states with high unemployment rates to reuse federal relief funds to increase aid. No state has chosen to do so.

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Such an effort would certainly meet opposition from moderate Democrats, many of whom rebelled against expanding other coronavirus relief provisions, such as a federal ban on evictions. Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged that his measure is likely to lead to resistance from other lawmakers.

“I’m not entirely sure about its prospects, and I want to be completely honest with all of you on that,” she said. “We’ll make it work, we’ll try, but I can’t let it happen without at least trying.”

The bill would extend all federal unemployment insurance through February 1. If it becomes law, benefits will also be paid retroactively between the September 6 end date and the date of passage.