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NC'ians Call for Leadership from Sens. Tillis & Burr As Unemployment Claims Surpass 1M

North Carolinians Call for Leadership from Senators Tillis & Burr As State  Unemployment Claims Surpass 1 Million

Senator Tillis has consistently worked against providing much-needed unemployment insurance to struggling North Carolinians

33 Million Americans Have Filed for Unemployment Insurance Over the Last 7 Weeks

Raleigh, N.C. —  Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the number of North Carolinians filing for unemployment insurance surpassed 1 million:

“The more than one million North Carolinians filing for unemployment benefits over the last two months expect their elected representatives in Washington to fight on their behalf, not make their lives more difficult. But Senators Tillis and Burr voted against an extra $600 for the newly unemployed who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and supported a plan to let North Carolina cities and states go bankrupt. Both Tillis and Burr are also supporting a partisan lawsuit that would strip away health care coverage in the middle of a global pandemic -- and that’s on top of their votes to increase health care premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and prescription drug costs.

“The Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions are crucial protections for millions more who could lose employer-sponsored coverage. Our leaders have a moral obligation to drop their support for this reckless lawsuit that endangers our response to the coronavirus. It’s time for Senators Tillis and Burr to advocate for North Carolinians who need their help now by protecting access to health care amid this public health and economic crisis.”


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.” Last month, Tillis and Burr voted to stop an expansion of unemployment benefits for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments needs to be thoroughly evaluated...I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route. It saves some cities. And there’s no good reason for it not to be available. My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that. That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of.”

In response, Tillis said, “I’m more or less aligned with Leader McConnell on the issue.”

The State is the largest employer in North Carolina.


Jessica Coscia


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.

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