The Labor Department announced on Thursday 4.4 million more Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the United States continues to reel from the effects of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
In the last five weeks, 26.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment, as many have lost their jobs due to "Stay-at-Home" orders designed to prevent the spreading of COVID-19. Many businesses had to close down after being designated as "non-essential," resulting in layoffs and permanent business closures.
CNBC reports the 4.4. million does have a net decline of 810,000 claims from the previous week.
The Paycheck Protection Program, which was created by Congress so businesses can take out loans to keep their workers on the payroll, ran out of funds on April 16. Senate Republicans pushed for the PPP to be replenished before the funds ran out but were blocked by Democrats so other items could be included, such as funding for testing sites and hospitals.
The House is expected to vote on the stimulus bill this week.
4.4 million. That’s how many Americans lost their jobs in the last week—the exact time span that Democrats let the Paycheck Protection Program run out of money.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 23, 2020
It didn’t have to be this way. These are Pelosi Layoffs.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tried to blame Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for the delay in the new relief bill being approved, despite praising Democrats for rejecting sole funding for the PPP a few days prior.
"But again, Mitch McConnell likes to say that we delayed the bill. No, he delayed the bill. Two weeks ago, he came to the floor and said, 'This is all we’re doing. Just the 250.' And Democrats were reunited, House and Senate, the Senate Democrats went to the floor and said, no, no to that, we have a better idea about hospitals and testing and more funds for all of the businesses, the lower — shall we say the unbankable small businesses," Pelosi said.
"Republicans never wanted this crucial program for workers and small businesses to shut down. We tried to pass additional funding a week before it lapsed. But Democratic leaders blocked the money and spent days trying to negotiate extraneous issues that were never on the table," McConnell said in a statement after a deal had been reached.
Due to the number of jobs lost, protests have sprung up across the country to demand state governments to reopen so they can go back to work and provide for themselves and their families.
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