Rep. Scott: “If President Trump and Senator McConnell continue to block a comprehensive relief package, our country will likely suffer a prolonged economic depression, which will have long-term consequences for local, state, and federal budgets.”
Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 1.8 million jobs in July with the unemployment rate at 10.2 percent.
“Today’s jobs report clearly defines the stakes of the current negotiations over the next COVID-19 relief package. The American economy has lost 12.9 million jobs since February, and this is the 20th consecutive week in which more than 1 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims. For approximately five straight months, weekly unemployment insurance claims have been higher than the worst weeks on record.
“As dire as the economic situation is, the damage would have been far worse if not for expanded unemployment benefits, hundreds of billions of dollars in relief for businesses, and other CARES Act provisions that have kept the economy and working families afloat. Yet – for the last three months – Senate Republicans refused to work on the next relief package even though they knew that critical unemployment benefits and other relief expired at the end of July.
“If President Trump and Senator McConnell continue to block a comprehensive relief package, our country will likely suffer a prolonged economic depression, which will have long-term consequences for local, state, and federal budgets.
“We have the tools to stop the pandemic and save our economy. On May 15, the House passed the Heroes Act, which extends the $600 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits, expands paid leave, provides a second round of stimulus checks, directs nearly $1 trillion to state and local governments, provides schools with the funding they need to reopen safely, directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to establish an Emergency Temporary Standard to protect workers from the coronavirus, and invests $75 billion in testing and contact tracing.
“That legislation remains the clearest path to addressing the nation’s health and economic crises. This report underscores the urgency of passing a significant relief package to protect lives and livelihoods in communities across the country.”