Letter to the Hon. Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, and the Hon. Cecilia Roues, Chair of the Council of Economic Affairs - Pascrell, Sewell Demand Data on GOP-led Termination of Unemployment Assistance


U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, and Terri Sewell (D-AL-07) led 10 House colleagues in demanding data on the Republican-led campaign to prevent millions of working Americans from accessing federal unemployment assistance. In a letter to President Biden's top economic advisors, the Members requested an urgent analysis of the economic damages working Americans will incur as Republican state officials continue to deny them the benefits they need to withstand the pandemic's fallout.

"We write urgently to request an analysis that estimates the economic effect of the states that plan to terminate important federal pandemic unemployment programs before their intended expiration," the Members wrote. "As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and our economy is still on the road to recovery, this is the wrong time to end programs on which many Americans rely to keep food on the table or a roof over their heads."

The Members continued, "[t]he governors who have announced withdrawal from the emergency unemployment programs speculate that federal benefits are holding back their states' recovery because some employers cannot find workers. But these anecdotal claims ignore the hardships Americans searching for work are encountering, as well as the fact that the money from federal benefits flows into local businesses through consumer spending, generating another $1.61 in economic activity for every dollar spent. In the states that have already announced that they are terminating pandemic benefits, 3.5 million workers could be cut off early as a result of states terminating Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), PUA, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and the Mixed-Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC). Rather than cut down on spending and incentivize unemployed workers to find jobs, this will cause economic activity in states to drop, slowing down the recovery in harder-hit areas with vulnerable populations. Accordingly, we request that the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers provide an analysis that estimates the economic effect of states terminating benefits."

The Members' full letter to Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, and Cecilia Rouse, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, is provided below.