Reps. Peters, Beyer, Kilmer Lead 114 Members Urging House Leadership to Schedule Vote to Reinstate Expanded Unemployment Insurance and Tie Duration of Benefits to Economy
August 18, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52), Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08), Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and 114 other members sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer urging them to take up a vote this Saturday on legislation to extend unemployment benefits to those who need it and ensure benefits last for the duration of the recession by tying enhanced unemployment insurance to the health crisis and economic indicators.
“It has been three weeks since the weekly $600 enhanced unemployment benefits expired, leaving 30 million Americans in a lurch,” the lawmakers wrote. “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 letter, touting signatures from an ideological spectrum of Democratic members, encourages the implementation of an automatic stabilizer for the weekly $600 supplementary unemployment benefits, created in March through the CARES Act and expired on July 31, 2020.
“During the last recession, Congress extended emergency unemployment benefits 13 times. This time, we seem headed for an even more perilous path as Republicans have already blown past the deadline to extend the enhanced unemployment compensation with reckless abandon, satisfied by the President’s woefully inadequate Executive Order,” the lawmakers continued. “By passing legislation that ties unemployment benefits to economic triggers, we can ensure that aid is restored to those who need it and prevent future lapses as long as the economy tells us aid is needed.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Rep. Peters and his colleagues of the New Democrat Coalition have strongly supported applying automatic stabilizers to fund vital COVID-19 relief programs, like the aforementioned enhanced Unemployment Insurance benefits. In May, he led a letter to the Speaker, emphasizing automatic stabilizers as an essential inclusion to the Heroes Act, which ultimately failed to make it into the package.
The letter was signed by: Scott H. Peters (CA-52), Don Beyer (VA-08), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Bill Foster (IL-11), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08), Bradley S. Schneider (IL-10), David Trone (MD-06), Denny Heck (WA-10), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Peter Welch (VT), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Adam Smith (WA-09), Norma Torres (CA-35), David E. Price (NC-04), A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Kathleen M. Rice (NY-04), Ed Case (HI-01), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Colin Allred (TX-32), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Sharice L. Davids (KS-03), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Susie Lee (NV-03), Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Darren Soto (FL-09), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-07), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Steve Cohen (TN-09), TJ Cox (CA-21), Jim Himes (CT-04), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Mike Quigley (IL-05), André Carson (IN-07), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Al Lawson (FL-05), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Mike Levin (CA-49), Max Rose (NY-11), Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Jim Costa (CA-16), John Yarmuth (KY-03), Peter A. DeFazio (OR-04), Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Angie Craig (MN-02), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Deb Haaland (NM-01), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (GA-02), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Joseph D. Morelle (NY-25), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Judy Chu (CA-27), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Val Demings (FL-10), Lou Correa (CA-46), Jason Crow (CO-06), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Harley Rouda (CA-48), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Jim Langevin (RI-02), Daniel T. Kildee (MI-05), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Anthony G. Brown (MD-04), Bill Keating (MA-09), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Stacey E. Plaskett (VI-AL), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Andy Levin (MI-09), Susan Davis (CA-53), Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Zoe Lofgren (CA-19).