WASHINGTON, D.C. – Another 870,000 Americans joined the unemployment ranks in the last week, bringing the total number of workers drawing unemployment benefits to over 26 million. The news comes on the heels of a tragic milestone: over 200,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths. While the deadly and costly repercussions of the pandemic and Trump recession continue to compound, President Trump’s Senate allies have apparently abandoned all responsibility to deliver additional aid to millions of struggling workers, states, and small businesses in pursuit of tilting the U.S. Supreme Court further to the right following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“In an instant, Trump’s Senate allies went from dragging their feet on assistance for millions of struggling families and small businesses to a mad sprint to replace Justice Ginsburg,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US.
“There should be no greater priority for Congress than addressing the worsening pandemic and its unprecedented impact on the economy. But Trump’s Senate allies are too busy trying to advance their radical judicial agenda to get Americans the support they need.”
By ignoring suffering and sacrifice on such a mass scale, it’s clear Trump’s Senate allies’ ruthless pursuit of power on the high court comes above all else and at any cost. The first order of business for the Senate should be passing a COVID-19 relief bill that prioritizes help for struggling small businesses, workers and their families — not just Trump’s wealthy friends and allies. It’s called the HEROES Act, that the U.S. House passed over 100 days ago that includes $100 billion in emergency rent aid and a full extension of the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit that expired in July.
As Trump and the Senate put all their energy into jamming through an unnamed Supreme Court nominee, it has been…
- 180 days since the CARES Act was passed — the last significant comprehensive aid package Congress secured to help the American people through a crisis that is now well past its 6th month of raging through the U.S.
- 54 days since the CARES Act’s weekly $600 enhanced federal unemployment benefits ran out, leaving many families struggling to make ends meet.
- 46 days since applications for the Paycheck Protection Program closed, leaving small businesses that were denied from the program to fend for themselves.
- 8 days until airlines may start laying off workers, despite many getting bailed out by the Trump administration.
- 99 days until Trump’s eviction moratorium runs out, potentially resulting in thousands of families losing access to stable housing.
It’s Clear More — Not Less — Needs to Be Done as The Trump Recession Continues for Millions of Americans:
- Axios, 9/22: The price of Washington’s stimulus failure. The bipartisan inability to deliver economic stimulus could impede economic growth for months to come. It will create widespread damage across America — from small businesses to large industries to schools and day cares — and leave many Americans without jobs or homes.
- Wall Street Journal, 9/22: Laid-off workers cut spending, hunt for jobs as extra unemployment benefits run out. Many workers are still waiting for the additional $300 payments to arrive, which means they are drawing solely on regular state unemployment benefits, which have averaged $326 a week in the year through July, according to the Labor Department.
- CNBC, 9/22: $300 unemployment benefits end in at least 9 states as stimulus hopes fade. States are starting to run out of funding for enhanced unemployment benefits, leaving millions of workers without additional aid as hopes for more stimulus dwindle.
- Forbes, 9/22: Report: Struggling Black-Owned Businesses Need More Government Grants. Black small business owners are really suffering in the current crisis. Some surveys predict that more than 40% of such enterprises will be forced to close.
- MarketWatch, 9/20: 60% of Yelp businesses that closed during the pandemic will stay shut permanently, report finds. Coronavirus has impacted virtually every sector of the economy, some more than others, leading to widespread store closures and pushing the number of corporate bankruptcy filings to a decade high.