Republicans said Wednesday afternoon that they were considering extending the enhanced unemployment insurance benefit “at a dramatically reduced level of $400 per month, or $100 a week, through the rest of the year,” CNBC reported.
The current federal benefit of $600 per week is set to expire at the end of July. The payment is in addition to state jobless benefits.
Republicans “have had months to propose a plan for extending supercharged unemployment benefits, and they still have nothing to offer,” Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement Tuesday.
Republicans, Wyden said, “have not reached out to Democrats, and are simply trying to deflect blame. I proposed a plan to extend the $600 boost and tie it to economic conditions back in May and [Senate Minority] Leader [Chuck] Schumer and I introduced legislation weeks ago. Republicans meanwhile are fighting amongst themselves while millions of families panic about whether they’ll be able to pay August rent.”
State System Upgrades
On Wednesday, Wyden introduced the legislation to incentivize states to upgrade what Wyden said is their “outdated unemployment insurance infrastructure.”
The Unemployment Insurance Technology and Accessibility Act would create a $500 million Labor Department grant program to provide states with funds to upgrade their technology. States that do not meet accessibility criteria within two years would be required to repay the grant.