Extend the $600 weekly boost to unemployment checks past July 31.

Extend the $600 weekly boost to unemployment checks past July 31.

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Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans are vowing to end the additional $600 per week added to unemployment benefits by the CARES act. Experts say that abruptly phasing out the payments would amount to a drastic pay cut ranging from 50% to 75%.  Making only 25% of regular salary will lead to more homelessness, loan defaults, and bankruptcy.  Food insecurity will escalate.  

Democrat Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia is raising dire warnings that a failure to extend government help could lead to a "full-blown humanitarian catastrophe."

"Cutting back federal assistance at the height of the crisis would mean self-inflicted disaster, devastation, and additional deaths," he said.

More than 39 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the last 9 weeks, averaging about 1 in 4 previously working Americans.  In other words, you personally know many jobless people right now! It is unlikely that everyone will be going back to work after the lockdowns end. The Congressional Budget Office speculates that unemployment will be around 9% in 2021. 

Reducing unemployment payments can send a ripple effect through the economy as more people with less money buy less things, leading to more layoffs and small business/personal bankruptcies.  Continuing these boosted unemployment benefits is the right thing to do, both ethically and economically.