March 05,2021

Press Contact:

Ashley Schapitl (202) 224-4515

Wyden Statement on Jobless Benefits

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on the agreement on jobless benefits:

“My goal throughout this process has been to secure the strongest possible package for jobless workers that could pass the Senate. This agreement continues the $300 weekly boost, extends benefits longer than the House proposal, and provides much-needed relief to jobless workers being hit with surprise tax bills without any way to pay them. Republicans are standing in lockstep against tax relief for Americans with a few hundred bucks in the bank after demanding billions in write offs for wealthy investors.

“Adding hundreds of dollars to weekly benefits and covering gig workers and the self-employed has been the boldest action Congress has ever taken to support jobless Americans during an economic crisis. At every stage, Democrats have pushed the strongest possible jobless package and Republicans have opposed. Going back to the CARES Act, Republicans’ only amendment on the floor was to cut jobless benefits. 

“As the author of the original $600 per week boost in the CARES Act, I would have preferred a higher weekly boost tied to economic conditions. This whole process underscores the need to put a stop to jumping from cliff to cliff. There would be no need to predict the level of economic support needed in six months because benefits would taper down gradually as conditions improve. I’m going to continue talking to my colleagues and pushing for triggers as we move forward.”