Top Democrats Call on President Biden to Permanently Reform Unemployment and Strengthen Profit


President Joe Biden. Alex Won / Getty Images

  • Top Democrats, including Bernie Sanders, are calling on Biden to permanently reform unemployment.

  • In a letter sent Friday, Democrats called for federal benefit standards and expanded eligibility.

  • They hope that reforms will come as part of Biden’s next infrastructure package.

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A group of Democrats gives President Joe Biden more extensive and permanent unemployment protection Next economic package He will announce next week.

In a letter sent Friday, lawmakers called on Biden to increase both the amount of unemployment allowance and its duration as part of his latest infrastructure program. They say many states want to reduce unemployment aid and set federal standards for benefits in the wake of the Great Depression.

38 Democrats, including Senators such as Bernie Sanders of Vermont, signed the letter. Ron Weiden, Oregon; Sherrod Brown, Ohio. The letter also included Congressman Peter Defazio of Oregon. Susan del Bene, Washington; Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri.

“The quality of life of the unemployed was quite different, and the standards of support were quite different based solely on where they live,” David Cooper, a senior economic analyst at the Left Institute for Economic Policy (EPI), told insiders. Said. “As a result, the data show that federal funding accounted for an increasingly large proportion of support for the unemployed in states where lawmakers really weakened the state’s unemployment insurance system.”

Democrats also want to make the benefits of UI available to more workers.They quote Pandemic Unemployment Support (PUA) ProgramExtends UI eligibility to gig workers and freelancers. According to the letter, more than 16 million workers received PUA benefits during the EPI report By the end of 2020, we found that “PUA has the largest share of federal UI support … accounting for 33% of total UI revenue.”

Finally, a Democratic group wants to reform its extended benefit program to put it in autopilot during a recession. The program aims to provide unemployment benefits for a few more weeks in high unemployment states. But lawmakers argue that the extension isn’t enough, the program isn’t responding to the recession, and instead leaves the extension to Congress.

“I think one lesson to learn from what happened in the pandemic is that setting any of these deadlines will cause the program to expire. That doesn’t make much sense,” Cooper said. “Unemployment should be readily available whenever all workers lose their jobs.”

Beyond long-term measures, Democrats want Biden to extend Emergency program Throughout the pandemic.

Weiden and Bennett recently New plan To review the country’s unemployment system, especially in the distribution of aid to dismissed workers, after the pandemic exposed a major weakness. Their plans require a wage substitution rate of 75% and penalties for states that violate federal standards.

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