Governors in red states such as Georgia, Montana, and South Carolina have cited a so-called labor shortage as necessitating fewer benefits, so that unemployed residents will be compelled to return to work. As soon as next month, hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of workers will experience a sharp cut in their jobless benefits.
But Sanders is arguing that the Labor Department is mandated to provide Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to all workers, even those in states that are moving to halt it. In a letter to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Sanders said “it is critical that the Department of Labor does everything in its power to ensure that jobless Americans continue to receive this aid as the law intended.”
PUA is a federal pandemic-era unemployment expansion that allows more workers — including gig workers and part-time workers — to become eligible for UI benefits. Sanders and other progressive lawmakers have argued that the widespread adoption of PUA by workers shows the need to permanently reform and expand UI eligibility.
“As Secretary, you are obligated to ensure this aid gets to workers,” Sanders wrote in his letter to Walsh. “To ensure that obligation is met, I urge you to commit to holding states accountable for their role in administering PUA benefits.” If states end PUA, those newly eligible workers would lose all of their benefits, not just the additional $300 a week. Also at risk are workers on long-term benefits.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction