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Democrats push Congress to act on COVID relief bill

Washington DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As the country endures more surges of the coronavirus, some U.S. lawmakers are demanding for Congress to provide relief to taxpayers before things get worse.

“We’re dealing with a coronavirus pandemic, but they’re also dealing with a hunger pandemic,” said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden Wednesday. The Democrat said Americans will likely see both the health and economic impacts of the pandemic in the coming months. “[It will be] a tsunami of evictions,” he said. “People losing their homes.”

Wyden and other top Democrats recently introduced the American Worker Holiday Relief Act which allows Americans to qualify for 26 additional weeks of unemployment benefits and extends the $600 weekly federal boost through October of next year. It also ensures freelance and gig workers qualify for extended benefits.

The holdup in Congress on getting a relief bill passed has been the extension of the $600 per week in federal benefits; while Democrats want the amount extended, Republicans, for the most part, oppose. Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow said Wednesday the White House isn’t against extending the benefits, but thinks the money should come from leftover funds from previous relief packages.

“Repurpose it back to the PPP’s, the unemployment assistance, school COVID-related K-12 assistance, [or] some airlines,” Kudlow said.

Democrats argue the long the long-term relief that is required surpasses what is currently available.

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