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AFP
November 19, 2020

‘Unemployed Americans to lose aid’

World

AFP
November 19, 2020

Washington: Millions of Americans who lost their jobs to the mass layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic will be cut off from government aid at the end of December unless Congress acts, a study said on Wednesday.

Lawmakers in March passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that expanded the unemployment safety net as Covid-19 wrecked the economy, offering benefits to workers not normally eligible and extending the length of time laid-off Americans could receive benefits. But funding for those programs expires on December 26, and a study from The Century Foundation estimates that nearly 12 million workers will be receiving benefits from the two main expanded unemployment programs when funding expires.

"This cutoff threatens to pull the rug out from under an economy that has already seen millions of workers lose their state unemployment benefits this fall," the New York-based progressive think tank said in its report. Washington lawmakers have negotiated for months over whether to pass a follow-up measures to the CARES Act. But Democrats and Republicans have been unable to agree on how much to spend or what to spend it on, and there’s little reason to believe progress will be achieved before the new Congress is seated in January.