As Extended Unemployment Benefits Expire, Harder Pushes for Bipartisan Solutions
As the federal program designed to supplement unemployment benefits paid through states is set to end this weekend, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) is encouraging leaders in Washington to collaborate on an immediate, bipartisan solution. Without additional assistance, thousands of people in Rep. Harder's district could miss rent or mortgage payments and experience other long-term impacts on their financial security. As leaders in Congress and the White House collaborate to find a final deal, Rep. Harder is committed to reaching a bipartisan resolution.
"The most important thing here is speed -- we can't dilly dally on this anymore. We don't want a single person in our area to miss a rent or mortgage payment because this program evaporates overnight," said Rep. Harder. "The House passed our version of the bill a couple months ago -- now it's time to come together with people of both parties to get a final deal. I have heard from people who are really concerned about having the rug pulled out from under them when the payments dry up -- and I've also heard from business owners who are worried about staffing their stores. We can satisfy both of these concerns if we're willing to find common ground. That could mean a temporary extension, tailoring the amount we pay to better address specific state needs, or a strategy that tracks these payments to the unemployment rate. The one thing we can't do is wait."
Congress hopes to pass another Coronavirus stimulus bill within the coming weeks. Rep. Harder's top priorities are finding a resolution to the unemployment issue, getting another stimulus payment -- that includes dependents, and ensuring more funding is made available to help schools safely welcome students back to classrooms.