Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called for an extension of the additional weekly unemployment benefits that will expire at the end of the month:

“The additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits that Congress included in the CARES Act has been nothing short of a lifeline for millions who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus. It puts food on the table, ensures rent is still paid and is helping keep millions of Americans above the poverty line.

“The benefits don’t only help the recipients; they also support local business where the money is spent. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that more than 5 million jobs were supported by this additional income, including 800,000 jobs in California. This program has kept the economy from suffering even more harm.

“If Congress allows these benefits to expire, children will go hungry, families will lose their homes and millions of temporary job losses could become permanent. Congress has to come together and extend expanded unemployment benefits.”

Background:

  • Since mid-March, Americans have filed approximately 60 million claims for unemployment benefits and 32 million people are currently receiving benefits.

  • California has received about 8 million new unemployment claims and paid out more than $40 billion in benefits.

  • Despite the high unemployment rate, the CARES Act has kept up to 16 million people from falling into poverty.

  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment claims are far higher than during the Great Recession.
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