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Gov. Wolf sends letter urging Congress to pass $600 weekly unemployment aid

Gov. Tom Wolf sent a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation reaffirming his support for an extension of the federal $600 weekly unemployment benefit that expired last month. With Senate Republicans failing to pass a bill continuing the program, President Trump on Aug. 8 authorized a plan that will reduce and delay payments to workers in need, end the benefit for 30,000 Pennsylvanians and increase the burden on states.
“The president’s convoluted and temporary idea will leave families waiting weeks just to get less,” said Wolf. “This is not what the American people want or expect, and all of us deserve better.
“As I have said before, the extra $600 per week is vital for families to get by and the federal government should extend it. The additional unemployment benefit was helping many working families to pay their bills and put food on the table. The U.S. House has already passed a bill to extend the program and the Senate should do the same.”
The governor joined Sen. Bob Casey in a virtual press conference last week and previously sent a letter to the congressional delegation urging the Senate to pass legislation continuing the extra $600 weekly benefit.
The Trump administration’s plan is funded by $44 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that is intended for storm disaster relief. With 30 million unemployed Americans eligible for benefits, funding could be exhausted within weeks. Payments would also likely be delayed, because states cannot use current unemployment computer systems, therefore new systems may be required. Further, new eligibility requirements could eliminate the extra benefit for approximately 30,000 Pennsylvanians.
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