Jul 23 2020

Vice Chair Beyer Statement on UI Claims: 16 Million Unemployed Workers Are Represented by GOP Senators

“Republican senators have the peace of mind of knowing when they are going to get paid, and they should want those who are unemployed in states across the country to have the same.”

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reported that 1.4 million workers filed regular first-time unemployment claims (not seasonally adjusted) for the week ending July 18. This is the 18th week in a row that new regular unemployment claims have exceeded one million.

The DOL found that an additional nearly 1 million workers filed for benefits under the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for gig workers and others. In total, more than 2.3 million people filed new unemployment claims last week.

Nearly 32 million received unemployment compensation during the week ending July 4, including the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) that is scheduled to expire within days.

“Every Senator has the certainty of knowing that his or her paycheck will arrive like clockwork on the 5th and the 20th of every month—and that it will be more than enough to pay the bills. It is terribly unfair that Republican senators do not want the same for the 16 million unemployed Americans in their states, not to mention the 32 million workers nationwide who rely on unemployment benefits to get by.

“If Republican senators let expanded unemployment benefits expire, they will leave millions of workers worrying about how they are going to pay for food, rent and medicine.

“Republican senators have the peace of mind of knowing when they are going to get paid, and they should want those who are unemployed in states across the country to have the same.”

About Congressman Beyer

Congressman Don Beyer is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. In addition to his role as Vice Chair of the JEC, Beyer serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Previously, Beyer served as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and Ambassador to Switzerland, and built a successful family business over the course of four decades.

About the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee

 The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic think tank. It was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this Act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the JEC. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy.

Chairmanship of the JEC alternates between the Senate and House every Congress. Currently, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is the Chair and Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) is Vice Chair.