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Latest Unemployment Data Shows Urgent Need for Tillis and Burr to Extend Expanded Benefits

Latest Unemployment Data Shows Urgent Need for Tillis and Burr to Extend Expanded Benefits


Hundreds of Thousands May Lose Desperately Needed Financial Support


It’s Time for Tillis to Break from His Long History of Blocking Unemployment Insurance for Struggling North Carolinians


Raleigh, N.C. — Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson released the following statement, as more than 1.6 million North Carolinians have now filed unemployment insurance claims since March 15th. On July 31st, unemployed North Carolinians will face a major reduction in their pay when CARES Act payments expire.


“In just a few weeks, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians face massive cuts to their federal unemployment benefits, yet Senators Tillis and Burr won’t commit to extending them. The battle against coronavirus is not over, and this is no time for Congress to create even more economic uncertainty for North Carolina’s working families. Senator Tillis and Senator Burr voted against expanded unemployment insurance in March when the economy was shutting down. Now, they must stop dodging the issue and commit to extending expanded federal unemployment benefits beyond the end of July.”


Background

Last week, 28,463 North Carolinians filed initial unemployment claims, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.


With more than 1.6 million North Carolinians applying for unemployment insurance benefits, a Kaiser Family Foundation report projects that 723,000 North Carolinians - and their families - have been left without health insurance.


Federal coronavirus relief legislation enacted in March authorized jobless Americans to receive an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr voted against that expansion.The expanded unemployment insurance payments end on July 31, at which point, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians could be facing a pay cut in the midst of a pandemic.


Tillis’ history of restricting unemployment benefits, blocking Medicaid expansion, attempting to eliminate key public health programs, and limit access to affordable health care dates back to his time as the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives when he fought to reduce eligibility and “touted the benefit reductions.” 


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About Piedmont Rising

Piedmont Rising is a 501 (c)4 issue advocacy organization built by and for North Carolinians to advocate for lower insurance premiums and prescription drug costs and to ensure that more people have access to safe and affordable health care. Through grassroots organizing, education, and engagement, we are amplifying our health care stories and holding our elected officials accountable to the people, and issues they were elected to represent. www.piedmontrising.org

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