The federal government released new jobless figures today showing an additional 2.4 million Americans sought unemployment aid in the last week.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more than 38 million Americans have filed unemployment claims over the past nine weeks. As part of the CARES Act enacted in March, Congress gave people filing for unemployment benefits an additional $600 each week until July but congressional Republicans have vowed not to extend that additional assistance.
The unemployment rate in April was nearly 15 percent, rivaling the Great Depression in its severity. Congressional Democrats railed against President Trump and GOP claims that additional unemployment benefits would deter Americans from seeking work.
“With nearly one in five Americans out of work, Donald Trump’s plan is to cut off the boost in unemployment benefits and shower his wealthy buddies with more tax cuts,” said Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR). “This is the worst economic crisis in 100 years and Donald Trump is doubling down on Herbert Hoover’s economic playbook and pushing workers to risk their health for his political benefit.”