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Senate Democrats unveil plan to extend additional unemployment benefits

Senate Democrats unveil plan to extend additional unemployment benefits
Posted at 5:36 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 18:00:11-04

WASHINTON, D.C. -- Senate Democrats are unveiling a plan to extend additional unemployment benefits.

This is for the extra $600 every week, on top of what states already offer for unemployment.

The new proposal would decrease the added benefit as the unemployment rate drops.

The Economic Policy Institute supports that plan, saying the additional benefit should stay in place as long as needed.

“People are really, really uncertain about how this is going to unfold over the coming months, so putting some arbitrary end date on any provisions related to supporting the economy and the people in it during this crisis makes no sense,” said Heidi Shierholz, Senior Economist and Director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute.

The institute tells us the expansion makes a huge difference, not just for the individual, but for all of us. It estimates if it cuts off at the end of July, that could cost the U.S. 5 million jobs over the next year. That's because less spending creates a further drag on the economy.

However, Republicans say the expanded benefit gives people a reason to not go back to work.

Some studies have found the economy could actually be worse off if people don't get working again.

The American Enterprise Institute agrees, saying the move was just meant to get through the initial lockdown.

“This is becoming less of a, the pandemic caused us to initiate lockdowns and people are at home, and now it's just we have a large number of unemployed people, what should we do to assist them, and $600 addition to unemployment checks in a bad economy is a really unprecedented step,” said Matt Weidinger with the American Enterprise Institute.

The group says extending the benefits could set that precedent for Congress to act similarly for any future recessions.