One hundred, seventeen House Democrats urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to pass a limited coronavirus relief bill to fund the $600 weekly enhanced unemployment benefit.
Over half of the House Democrat conference sent a letter to Pelosi urging her to set a vote for the Worker Relief and Security Act, which continue the $600 weekly benefit.
The petitioning Democrats explained that the legislation would tie the enhanced unemployment benefit to “health crisis and economic indicators.”
The Democrats charged that 30 million Americans need to get the unemployment benefits, explaining:
It has been 19 days since the weekly $600 enhanced unemployment benefits expired, leaving 30 million Americans in a lurch. We owe it to people waiting to get back to work across the country not only to extend unemployment benefits to help them pay their bills, but to tie these benefits to economic conditions so workers are not held hostage by another cliff like this one.
The Worker Relief and Security Act would automatically continue, expand, and adjust enhanced unemployment insurance programs based on public health and economic triggers through the duration of the crisis without the need for further congressional action. Specifically, the bill would extend the $600 weekly federal pandemic unemployment compensation (FPUC) for the duration of the national COVID-19 health emergency, and then continue and adjust the weekly federal unemployment compensation amount and number of available unemployment benefit weeks dependent on the state total unemployment rate.
Pelosi has resisted calls to pass a slimmer coronavirus relief bill, as she wants to cut a multi-trillion-dollar coronavirus relief bill.
Pelosi — along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), and Assistant Leader Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) — signaled during a call on Thursday that they hope to avoid a standalone vote on an unemployment stabilization bill.
While Pelosi and rank-and-file Democrats continue to clash over whether to fund unemployment benefits in a slim or more comprehensive bill, President Donald Trump signed executive orders granting Americans $400 in unemployment benefits as well as a payroll tax holiday.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.