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Wyden Says Coronavirus Package Will Streamline Unemployment Benefits

Sen. Ron Wyden press office

Both of Oregon’s US Senators voted in favor of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that passed the Senate late Wednesday night.

Among the most important provisions, said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, is the streamlining of unemployment benefits. “The whole notion of waiting periods and showing that you’re looking for new jobs right now, when everybody understands that employers are laying people off in massive numbers, those kind of traditional concepts don’t apply now,” he said.

Wyden said even self-employed people, such as those working so-called “gig economy” jobs, will be able to access unemployment benefits. The aid package moves on to the US House, which is expected to vote on it as soon as Friday.

Wyden spoke to KLCC from his office at the U.S. Capitol.  "It's pretty quiet (here), I can tell you that," he said. 

Wyden said his thoughts are with Oregon families right now. "In every nook and cranny in our state, there is just a real fear now with respect to what are the next few months going to be like," he said.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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