House Democrats pressure Senate GOP to extend COVID-19 $600 unemployment payments


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — In just a few days, the $600 weekly COVID-19 unemployment payments will expire.

“We are on the precipice of sliding from a deep recession into an American depression,” Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright said.

Cartwright and other House Democrats are calling out Republicans for failing to extend the $600 weekly unemployment payments.

“To be so cavalier as to let these deadlines expire, it’s irresponsible,” Cartwright said.

Cartwright says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be responsible for the economic damage he says is on the way.

“When we let this unemployment insurance expire with no replacement, with no negotiation, with no discussion, that’s a level of disconnectedness from the American people that approaches malevolence,” Cartwright said.

The Republican plan in the Senate would lower payments to $200 weekly until September. Pennsylvania Rep. Fred Keller says that’s a healthier amount for the economy and workers.

“The Democrats are talking about programs that keep people on dependency. We’re talking about programs that keep people attached to their jobs so that they have a job to go back to, so their employer, their team can be successful,” Keller said.

Keller says a hasty decision could lead to more problems and says Democrats need to be patient.

“Their new normal is more government control, more government spending and more debt for our kids and grandkids,” Keller said.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle hope for an agreement on unemployment insurance happens soon.

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