June 04,2020

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Wyden Statement on CBO Analysis of Supercharged Unemployment Benefits

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the economic effects of supercharged unemployment benefits:

“CBO concludes that in the third quarter the unemployment rate will be 16 percent, with 25 million Americans out of work. These numbers represent crushing financial pain for American families. There’s no way Republicans can look at this scenario and think Congress has done enough for unemployed workers in the face of a once-in-a-century pandemic. 

“CBO notes that the $600 boost to benefits has been vital in maintaining consumer demand. Workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own are still able to pay the rent and buy groceries, which is propping up the economy. CBO also notes that fear of getting sick has an effect on the labor market, reiterating that crushing the virus is key to reviving the economy.

“Even if millions of Americans go back to work, if millions of Americans who remain unemployed are suddenly unable to pay their bills, the economy will get worse, not better.

“Supercharged unemployment benefits must continue, and Democrats must insist on triggers that tie unemployment benefits to economic conditions on the ground to prevent future economic sabotage."