Don’t cut unemployment boost, Gillibrand says

Unemployment debate

WASHINGTON (WWNY) - Since the end of March, Americans on unemployment have had a bump to their weekly paychecks: $600 from the federal government.

But WorkPlace executive director Cheryl Mayforth says that’s come to an end.

“People that are certifying this week will not have that compensation, or that assistance in their unemployment,” she said.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in a press conference Thursday says those additional dollars are still needed.

“There aren’t millions of open jobs for these people to return to,” Gillibrand said. “Until there are, we need to continue to keep people afloat.”

Senate Republicans this week have rolled out their plan, called the HEALS Act.

It would keep federal funds coming to people on unemployment, but cut the amount to $200 a week.

Mayforth says it could cause some people to struggle.

"You take somebody on minimum unemployment, 182, you know that's 382."

In October, the $200 a week would become a payment that, combined with state unemployment, would replace 70 percent of lost wages and run until the end of the year.

Gillibrand says calculating how much each person would receive could delay unemployment checks.

“To add this second mathematical formula to every check before it can go out, I think will be deeply problematic,” she said.

The HEROES Act, which passed the House of Representatives in May, would extend the $600 per week through next January.

The Senate hasn’t passed either act and Mayforth says until legislation is enacted, people on unemployment won’t receive any additional federal funds.

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