Time is running out for a lifeline that is protecting millions of people from the devastating effects of the worst economic crisis in modern history. Here’s why now is the best time to act.
At least 38 million Americans receive an extra $600 a week in urgently-needed unemployment insurance benefits, thanks to the CARES Act, passed in March 2020.
But despite the virus being nowhere near contained, federal and state governments continue to question whether they can afford to help struggling out-of-work citizens. A jaw-dropping 15.4% of Black Americans are unemployed, compared to only 10.1% of whites.
President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell specifically are pushing to let the benefits expire on July 31. This is intolerable and cruel. Even worse, the history of the unemployment insurance program is keeping a dangerous stereotype alive.
“There’s a persistent narrative that Black folks don't want to work, which undermines access to the safety net. In the unemployment insurance (UI) system … the benefits are not as generous and it's much more difficult to get benefits, because of the [Black workers] narrative,” Rebecca Dixon of the National Employment Law Project told PushBlack partner The Center for Popular Democracy, an organization on the front lines of this issue.
It’s wrong to rob Black workers of the means to stay afloat until this health crisis blows over. Tell Congress not to force Black workers into unsafe jobs just to be able to survive this economic crisis.
Sign the petition to extend the CARES Act’s $600 per week unemployment bonuses until the economy recovers and it is safe to go back to work.