Wyden To McConnell: Senate GOP Needs To Come Back And Revive Unemployment Benefits

Jul 31, 2020

Congress has adjourned for the weekend, without resolving the issue of “supercharged” unemployment benefits.  The weekly $600 in federal aid for jobless Americans expired Friday (7/31), after the U.S. Senate failed to reach a deal. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (right) with President Donald Trump, November 2019. The lack of renewed unemployment benefits is seen by some as a threat to the president's re-election prospects this fall.
Credit The White House / Flickr.com

In a call with reporters, Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden pointed out that the Gross Domestic Product fell by 33% in the second quarter…and over 20 million people are unemployed.

Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, at KLCC in July 2019.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“And when you have a national economy in freefall, you don’t take away arguably the best tool to keep the economy afloat.”

Wyden said he wants Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to talk to working class Americans this weekend, and come back Monday to negotiate an agreement. 

Republicans themselves are divided, with some saying Congress has already done enough.  Others want to renew the benefits but at a reduced amount.

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