Democratic Sen. Jim Gaughran in a letter released Friday urged top leaders in the U.S. Senate to extend the $600 in unemployment assistance for those who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The money, which comes in addition to traditional unemployment benefits, is set to expire at the end of the month.
“It is imperative that the U.S. Senate follow the House of Representatives’ leadership and extend Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation," Gaughran wrote in the letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "FPUC has been a lifeline for countless families struggling to pay their mortgages or rent, and put food on their tables. The clock is ticking for Congress to return to Washington and do their jobs. Without an extension of FPUC, countless New Yorkers will be abandoned during an unprecedented pandemic, while Mitch McConnell continues to gamble away millions of Americans lives.”
Congress is considering another round of stimulus legislation to shore up the flagging economy. The next package could also include a second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.
The pandemic has surged across the country, leading some states to close some businesses again.
New York has been gradually reopening on a regional basis since May, but the unemployment rate has sharply increased to 15.7 percent last month.