This weekend, the $600 weekly benefit that millions of workers currently receive as unemployment benefits for the CCP Virus expires.

As of late Friday, congressional lawmakers had not yet agreed on a new package of measures aimed to shield the economy from the effects of the CCP virus.

One of the most discussed points is the $600 that unemployed people receive weekly since the virus spread through the United States, as an extra assistance to the unemployment insurance. These federal benefits are part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress in March. 

This weekend, the federal commitment of the extra $600 for the unemployed expires. And Congress has yet to agree on how to proceed with the package. To prevent beneficiaries from having their income abruptly cut off, Republican Senators Romney, Collins, McSally introduced an extension prevent disruption to unemployment benefits.

“Unemployed workers should not be left in limbo while Congress continues to negotiate the next relief package,” Senator Romney said. “Our solution extends the supplemental benefits for three months and incentivizes states to update their UI processing systems. We should act with urgency to help the millions of Americans who are on the verge of losing these additional benefits.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked Friday if she would support Republican Senator Mitt Romney’s proposed three-month unemployment extension, and the answer was no.

Both Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and most of their Democratic supporters have said they oppose a short-term extension of benefits. Democratic leaders support the $3 trillion stimulus bill entitled the HEROES Act, which extends the benefit through January.

Unexpected consequences of financial aid

Congress did not require states to request an active job search from federal fund recipients as a condition to receive the $600 per week. 

According to CNBC, most states acted accordingly, and considering that the public health emergency required social distancing measures and the economic crisis forced employers to eliminate more than 21 million jobs between March and April, they did not require a job search certificate. 

Legislators such as Rep. Warren Davidson had said that some small business owners in his district are struggling to hire staff because unemployment payments are higher than the wages many workers earned before the pandemic began, which does not encourage people to leave their homes for work. 

Some states such as Arkansas, Missouri, and Nebraska have decided to reinstate job search requirements for “pandemic unemployment assistance” recipients as state economies reopen.

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