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Congress Must Extend Unemployment Insurance and Bring Relief to Struggling Families

JUNE 9, 2020

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Congress Must Extend Unemployment Insurance and Bring Relief to Struggling Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing on the impact of unemployment insurance in the CARES Act. The National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee recently announced that the U.S. economy officially entered a recession in February and the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported an unemployment rate of 13.3 percent for May. However, experts noted that a ‘misclassification error’ resulted in unemployment being incorrectly reported. Unemployment in May actually clocked in at 16.3 percent.

Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint released the following statement:

“More than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance since the start of the pandemic. For many, expanded unemployment benefits have been the only thing keeping their families afloat—and there is ample evidence that ending these benefits would devastate families and the economy as a whole.

What’s more, we cannot grapple with the recession and pandemic without explicitly addressing the disproportionate economic burden borne by Black people. Mass protests in all 50 states have highlighted the way that Black communities have been targeted and oppressed. The idea that lawmakers would further harm Black families by removing this economic aid is indefensible. And yet, that is exactly what Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are doing, all while pushing their ‘millionaire’s giveaway’ to wealthy donors.

Black working families, not white CEOs, are the ones most suffering from this crisis. Ending expanded unemployment insurance would simply reinforce America’s existing, anti-Black economy. With the nation facing Great Depression-era rates of unemployment, extending these unemployment benefits until January 2021, as the HEROES Act does, is the bare minimum.”

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