Wyden And McConnell Debate Necessity Of 'Supercharged' Benefits

Jul 14, 2020

With so-called “supercharged” unemployment benefits set to expire at the end of the month, the U.S. Senate is divided largely along party lines on whether or not to extend them.

2014 photo of Mitch McConnell (R-KY), currently the Senate Majority Leader.
Credit U.S. Dept. of Agriculture / Flickr.com

Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden said the benefits have kept the economy afloat, and allowed American families to pay the rent and buy food. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has opposed their extension, saying they’ve discouraged employees from returning to their workplace.

Wyden is critical of the Kentucky Republican’s stance.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“He seems to be willing to say it’s just fine to tell the unemployed worker to go pound sand," said Wyden, "So that he can shield his donors from accountability for putting their workers’ health at risk.”

Wyden said he’s proposing to tie the benefits to “economic conditions on the ground” so they’re not at risk every few months.

Congress approved an additional $600 a week in federal unemployment insurance in late March.

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