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Six Days Late and $600 Short: Tillis Wants NC'ians to Think He’s Changed His Tune on Unemployment


July 30, 2020

Six Days Late and Six Hundred Dollars Short: Tillis Wants North Carolinians to Think He’s Changed His Tune on Unemployment Insurance

Raleigh, N.C. - Six days after Senator Thom Tillis and his Senate Republicans colleagues needlessly let $600 federal unemployment payments expire, Tillis finally succumbed to weeks of public and media pressure and claimed to support a temporary extension of federal unemployment.

What Tillis left out is that he and his Washington Republican allies are in full meltdown mode, and that he himself has opposed extending $600 payments, making the baffling claim that it would “make the problem worse.” And just last Friday, as the clock was running out for more than 800,000 North Carolinians relying on these payments, Tillis brushed off concerns about pushing millions of Americans off a financial cliff, saying it was “a normal part of the sausage factory.”

In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, an aid package that would extend unemployment payments through the end of the year. During the April debate over the CARES Act, Tillis voted to block the $600 payments from ever being implemented in the first place.

Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson made the following statement:

“Tillis has had months to act to extend $600 unemployment payments, but instead he did nothing. His inaction allowed these payments to expire for more than 800,000 North Carolinians this week. What’s worse, when confronted about giving struggling people a pay cut, he callously dismissed those concerns as some sort of Washington, D.C. game. North Carolinians are wondering how they will pay rent, pay medical bills, and pay for food. They need more than a temporary extension. They need the certainty that the House-passed bill provides by ensuring this lifeline through the end of the year.”


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