Nearly 60% of Americans Support Extending Boosted Unemployment Benefits as Trump and McConnell Say Let Them Expire

CNBC Television / YouTube Watch CNBC 39 s full interview 1591041969.jpg...
CNBC Television / YouTube

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both said late last month that they support allowing the temporary $600-per-week increase in unemployment benefits under the CARES Act to expire at the end of July.

But that decision would be extremely unpopular with the American public, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.

“The unemployment situation is going to get worse before it gets better, and unemployment benefits applications will continue to flood in.”
—Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute

The survey found that found that 58% of Americans—including 60% of Independents and 75% of Democrats—support extending the temporary increase in unemployment benefits past July 31, when the additional payments are set to end without action from Congress.

The poll also found that 57% of Americans believe that controlling the spread of Covid-19 should take priority over reopening the U.S. economy.

Enhanced unemployment benefits have served as an economic lifeline for tens of millions of people in the U.S. who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last month, House Democrats passed a bill that would extend the boosted unemployment benefits through January 2021—but the legislation is likely going nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate. In a private call with House Republicans on May 20, McConnell vowed that the $600 increase in weekly unemployment payments “will not” be in the next coronavirus stimulus legislation.

Ernie Tedeschi, a former Treasury Department economist, estimated last month that “unemployed workers will effectively get a pay cut of 50-75% overnight” if enhanced unemployment benefits are not extended past the end of July.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. Heidi Shierholz, senior economist and director of policy at EPI, warned in a blog post last Thursday that “the unemployment situation is going to get worse before it gets better, and unemployment benefits applications will continue to flood in.”

“Policymakers need to do more,” wrote Shierholz. “The across-the-board $600 increase in weekly unemployment benefits, which was one of the most effective parts of the CARES Act, should be extended well past its expiration at the end of July—until unemployment is falling rapidly and is at a manageable level.”

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

2 Comments on "Nearly 60% of Americans Support Extending Boosted Unemployment Benefits as Trump and McConnell Say Let Them Expire"

avatar
newest oldest most voted
William J Stefens
Guest
William J Stefens

Moscow Mitch is living up to his self proclaimed moniker as being the Grim Reaper. Sadly it will be people’s lives he kills more than progressive legislation. Just hope Kentucky voters will become the Grim Reapers of his Senate seat. Mitch is truly a disgusting disgrace of a human being.😡🤬🤬🤬

Matt
Guest
Matt

Could not say it better. The thing he is makes me puke