Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, otherwise known by her initials AOC, plans to introduce a bill that proposes the extension of unemployment benefits. She announced her plans during a virtual town hall on Tuesday. The bill would be retroactive from September 6th and extend until February of 2022. Democrats previously debated on whether they should attempt to extend the benefits but ultimately decided against it.
Millions of jobless freelancers, caregivers, gig workers, and the long-time unemployed stopped receiving unemployment benefits Labor Day weekend. Part-time employed workers also lost access to the weekly $300 booster that helped supplement their low wages. AOC said she is unsure if the bill will be passed, but she “simply could not allow this to happen without at least trying.”
AOC’s bill proposal comes when unemployment claims rose in the country from the previous pandemic low of 312,000. While 322,000 is one of the lowest amounts of jobless claims since March 2020, it still represents a good portion of the population who can benefit from extended unemployment benefits. Even though some economists and policymakers have suggested that an end to the benefits would function as a catalyst for people to return to work, others are not confident in that process. Primarily because of the fear the highly infectious Delta variant has instilled in the population.
Although GOP members believe the employment benefits deter unemployed Americans from getting jobs -that ultimately paid less- there are millions of people whose lives could improve with the extra money.
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