WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 1.1 million more Americans joined the unemployment ranks in the last week, bringing the total number of workers drawing unemployment benefits to over 28 million. But while the health crisis and recession show no signs of improvement, the President’s Senate enablers inexcusably remain on recess and no closer to reaching an agreement on the next major relief package with the U.S. House, which passed a comprehensive aid bill thirteen weeks ago including a full extension of the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit.

“Trump’s Senate allies gambled that the economy would fix itself if they skipped town without passing a recovery bill, and millions of families and small businesses are the ones losing their shirts,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “We can’t fix the economy until we fix the health crisis. The latest jobless claims show why the Senate needs to come home from vacation and do everything in their power to stem the economic bleeding. One of the most effective ways to stabilize the economy is extending enhanced unemployment benefits, along with implementing transparency and oversight in small business aid to ensure the next round of funding prioritizes the communities who need it most.”

Poll after poll after poll has shown strong public support for extending the full $600 benefit, which had been a critical lifeline for millions of struggling families. President Trump’s recent executive orders signed from his golf course offers far too little, too late — amounting to a painful $300 benefit cut that could take more than a month to arrive, would only last three weeks, and would exclude at least a million unemployed workers. Adding insult to injury, it seriously endangers Social Security.

It’s Clear More — Not Less — Needs to Be Done as The Trump Recession Continues for Millions of Americans:     

  • NPR, 8/19: Expired Jobless Benefits Cost Economy Billions, But Some States Reject Trump’s Aid. Since the supplemental $600 in weekly unemployment benefits expired at the end of July, jobless payouts nationwide have dropped by about $15 billion per week.
  • The Hill, 8/19: Nearly 40 percent who lost their job in pandemic say they don’t have a month’s worth of savings: survey. The survey found that 61 percent of participants who lost their job due to the coronavirus could not come up with $500 in cash without selling personal belongings.
  • Vox, 8/19: “For the first time in my life, I had money in my savings”: Workers on the relief of the $600 weekly benefit. President Trump has signed an executive order extending enhanced benefits of at least $300 a week, but payments may be slow to roll out and limited to several weeks of benefits.
  • The Hill, 8/19: Congress is on recess while students struggle with food security. his crisis is even more pressing for Black and Hispanic families with children, who reported food insecurity rates twice that of white households with children. Nearly four in 10 Black and Hispanic households with children reported not having enough to eat.
  • Washington Post, 8/17: Trump says he’s ‘stopping evictions.’ Here’s why they’re still happening. … It fell short of reinstating the federal eviction ban that prohibited evictions of 12 million renters in government-backed properties that expired last month, as many had expected.


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