Trump’s Senate Allies Continue to Hold Up Real Relief for Workers, Small Businesses During Pandemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This Labor Day, American workers are in dire straits as the U.S. Labor Department’s August jobs report shows the economy remains in recession. The jobless rate remains unacceptably high at 8.4 percent while the unemployment rate in the African American community is even worse at 13 percent.
And more than 29 million American workers continue to draw unemployment benefits. It is a reflection of the Trump administration’s bungling and inaction during the critical early days of the health crisis and the misguided economic priorities of the president and his Senate allies ever since — rushing to meet the demands from the wealthy and well-connected while ignoring urgent needs from workers and struggling small businesses, especially in communities of color.
“This Labor Day will be more of a day of anxiety than celebration for millions of American workers as the President and his Senate allies insist on as little relief as possible for workers and small businesses in the next stimulus,” said Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig. “Deep cuts to enhanced unemployment benefits, no real housing assistance, no stimulus checks, and no adjustments to the corrupt PPP program in the Senate’s upcoming ‘skinny’ bill are a recipe for a protracted recession. The Trump administration’s failure to offer adequate support to jobless Americans and small business owners has left many families struggling to afford the bare essentials. Unfortunately, the president seems more committed than ever to his out-of-touch belief that ‘it will all work out’ on its own.”
At a hearing before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis this week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested that ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in “certain” states are to blame for the nation’s disastrously high level of unemployment. But the economic crisis cannot be fixed until the public health crisis is addressed — and the Trump administration has failed to offer an adequate strategy for either.
While the health crisis and recession continue to worsen, the president’s Senate enablers (still on vacation) are planning a vote next week on a “skinny” stimulus bill that does not adequately meet the needs of millions of unemployed workers, families behind on rent, and disappearing small businesses in communities of color. For over 100 days, the Senate has allowed a comprehensive aid bill passed in the U.S. House to collect dust that included $100 billion in emergency rent aid and a full extension of the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit that expired in July.
As the administration leaves Americans high and dry, here are some of the realities workers are facing:
- UNEMPLOYMENT IS TOO HIGH: Over 29 million Americans are drawing from unemployment insurance, with over 880,000 joining their ranks just last week.
- HOUSING IS INSECURE: Roughly 1 out of 5 renters could not pay their rent on time in July, and estimates predicted that rate was even worse in August.
- BUSINESSES ARE SHUTTERING: One report showed that between March and July, over 80,000 businesses had closed — including about 60,000 local businesses (or firms with fewer than five locations).
- FEDERAL SUPPORT IS LACKING: Since the CARES Act’s $600 unemployment insurance boost expired, five states and D.C. have yet to see any additional UI support from the Trump administration. And workers have seen an average of 23 days lapse between UI boosts — leaving families with little help to pay for necessities like food, medicine, and housing.
READ MORE HERE about how the Trump administration and its Senate allies are failing to support workers this Labor Day.