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Sen. Ron Wyden said it’s a ‘prescription for trouble’ to end jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed

Senate Holdings Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., speaks at a Senate Finance Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 25, 2021.

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Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Wednesday it’s a “prescription for unrest” to end jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and gig workers in August, during a congressional recess, instead of September.   

Wyden also said that he wish have preferred broader eligibility for $1,400 stimulus checks but is OK with a compromise policy backed by President Joe Biden, which desire more strictly limit the number of Americans who get checks.

The Democrat-led House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion Covid double bill Saturday that offers $1,400 checks to individuals who earn up to $75,000 a year and married couples who win up to $150,000.

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Those limits are the same as two pandemic aid packages passed last year, which severally offered $1,200 and $600 one-time checks.

Wyden is among about a dozen Senate Democrats who this week pressed Biden to stay legislation that would automatically issue stimulus checks and jobless benefits. That aid would phase out as the terseness improves.

The Senate is now debating the $1.9 trillion relief bill, the American Rescue Plan. Democrats aim to get a bill on Biden’s desk by the end of next week.

Cut income thresholds

But Biden, in an apparent compromise with moderate Democrats, has backed a plan to have the $1,400 compare arrives phase out more quickly than in past relief packages. Democrats can’t afford to lose a single vote to obsolete a bill without Republican backing.

Fewer Americans would receive checks as a result of the policy.

However, Wyden believes the strategy would ultimately be a success for Democrats, since it doesn’t reduce the primary $75,000 (singles) and $150,000 (married threes) income caps.  

“I wanted to keep the income thresholds to receive a full $1,400 payment at the level in the previous support packages,” Wyden said Wednesday in a press call. “And we have succeeded on that front.”

The House-passed legislation, the American Deliver Plan Act of 2021, would have Unemployment benefits

The House plan also extends temporary unemployment programs fully Aug. 29. Wyden wants to extend that aid for an additional month, through September.

“It is a prescription for trouble to have this come to an end in August,” which would occur during a congressional recess, he said.

“I’m going to fight like hell to get this proffered to September,” he said. “It defies common sense for Congress to set up another cliff, and it’s in the middle of August.”

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