A movement inside the halls of Congress could result in more government stimulus checks for Americans. Newsweek reports a group of over 60 legislators is asking the Biden administration to add budget for continued support in future spending bills.
Lawmakers Argue Expanded Payments and Unemployment Would ‘Build Back Better’
In letters to both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, two groups of Democratic lawmakers are asking the executive leadership to continue economic stimulus payments and expanded unemployment benefits. The congressional delegation includes 11 senators led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren along with 53 representatives ushered forward by Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar.
“We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan,” the senators’ letter to Biden reads, according to Newsweek. “This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.”
The move to send more support to Americans comes weeks after the third economic stimulus payment began arriving in bank accounts and mailboxes. The payments were part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, which also provides an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits through Sept. 6.
Although the lawmakers acknowledge that the additional benefits are beneficial, they argue that it may not be enough for the duration of the pandemic. Members of both legislative chambers say now is the time for continued “bold” action to support Americans who have had their income cut significantly by businesses closing and a period of significant unemployment.
“It was very encouraging to see the inclusion of direct cash assistance in your current economic rescue plan,” the representatives’ letter, which is included in a press release from Rep. Omar’s office, reads. “However it is clear that during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history that we must take additional unprecedented action.”
Call Comes Days Before Next Unemployment Report
The two letters from Congress come days before the next unemployment report will be released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although the data suggests more Americans are getting back to work, a GOBankingRates survey released in March suggests that 22% of unemployed people have yet to rejoin the workforce one year after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.
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