Why the $600 Unemployment Payment and a 2020 Extension are a Bigger Threat to Trumps Re-election than the Ongoing Coronavirus and Social Issues

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[Latest update] Republicans have now at least agreed that extending unemployment benefits is necessary and are proposing to extend the weekly FPUC unemployment benefit to the end of December, but cutting it drastically to $100 p/week, according to sources. The Democratic controlled house will likely push back on this.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.


For the millions of unemployed workers who saw a significant reduction in their household income due to the Coronavirus driven economic slowdown, the extra $600 per week unemployment check and extension of existing state unemployment benefits enacted under the CARES stimulus act were a pretty significant part of replacing their lost income. In some states it’s the difference between staying above the poverty line and being able to feed one’s family.

It’s been well documented that many millions of people, even though being eligible for the $600 per week payment since it was available in early April 2020, have had significant issues being able to submit claims and get information on their claim/payment status. Further even when they receive payments they are being paid inconsistently (despite claimants certifying on schedule) and retroactive/back-payments are not being processed as expected. It’s also been very difficult to get through to state unemployment officials to get help given their limited capacity and technical challenges to manage the new/enhanced unemployment provisions.

I have written several articles covering these topics and you can just see the frustration across the thousands of comments received. Despite these issues, the extra unemployment benefits for the millions of unemployed workers who are getting these payments is a critical source of income for staying above water financially. Further with the key $600 weekly payment expiring at the end of July 2020, extending this payment has become a political hot topic that will rage on for the next several weeks and will have a significant bearing on the upcoming presidential election in November.

The debate on supplementary unemployment benefits is generally divided along party lines with Democrats supporting an extension and Republicans arguing that the additional $600 of unemployment benefits discourages workers from going back to work because in many states the extra payment on top of the regular state UI is more than people could earn from working!

So despite the resurgence of the Coronavirus in several states, the extension or expiry of the $600 PUC payment and even another stimulus check in 2020 is, in my opinion, going to be more important to President Trump’s re-election chances than most other economic and social factors that rage on. As many past elections have shown, independent or undecided voters place a high value on financial security (or the perception that the President will improve their financial well being) compared to many other issues. And it will be no different this time around come November.

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6 thoughts on “Why the $600 Unemployment Payment and a 2020 Extension are a Bigger Threat to Trumps Re-election than the Ongoing Coronavirus and Social Issues

  1. So true, the notion that the extra 600 is keeping folks from returning to work is simply untrue, in Texas where I live we are at all time high, in virus cases, and climbing. the jobs are not here, nor are they returning any time soon ,our rate of unemployment in Texas over 13 %…… Keep the 600 per week until year end, or go home .

  2. I feel if President Trump doesn’t extend the additional $600.00 per week pandemic unemployment in edution to extending standard Federally backed unemployment, he has No chance of re-election!
    There also needs to be another Stimulus Check for a minimum amount of $2000.00 as the Democrats approve and really is being watched throughout the USA.

    If he doesn’t “Step Up” the the next Very short amount of time, many Americans will loose their homes, vehicles etc as standard unemployment doesn’t come close to paying all a regular American pays each month

    Even with that extra $600.00 most aren’t making ends meet….

    Step up Mr President and approve the Democrats Bill.
    You pardoned your friend just before he was to go to prison, back all the millions of LEGIT Unemployed Americans.
    A great deal of them voted for you and if you follow through with this must needed action as bad Bill Signing, you will truly fain millions of votes come November.
    Just my 3 cents which has well over 175,000 followers!

    Do the right thing. .

    God Bless,
    Concerned American with a big following.

    1. You are so very right! If he does not choose to step up then he might as well be prepared to step out. Right is right. The presumption that the extra money, if applicable, is a contributor to Americans momentum not to resume gainful employment is a rediculous cop out. Focus on the ever rising cases of the virus and the steady closing of multiple employers businesses as well as the premature re-opening of common areas as the virus runs rampant, hopefully will clear all propaganda from the top of the Republicans in the Whitehouse WISHLIST. I don’t believe any of us invited this into our atmosphere..

      1. Nobody is addressing the elephant in the room: if a measly $600 on top of regular unemployment is significantly enough more than those workers are able to make from their jobs that they would choose not to return, the MINIMUM WAGE MUST BE INCREASED. Nobody should be paid such paltry, subsistence wages in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, pandemic or not. Shame on us for allowing a large, disadvantaged swath of our population to be taken advantage of by having to work for poverty wages doing the jobs that are arguably some of the most difficult, dangerous (especially in the time of Covid 19), and often unpleasant to be had. It is just WRONG. The new CARES Act should supplement the hourly wages of low income workers so they are actually able to earn a living wage for their time and effort. This would help small businesses to retain their workers and would elevate the employees to a reasonable living wage. Have the corporate giants pay their fair share of taxes to cover it, instead of giving them endless tax breaks and loopholes. Just sayin’.

  3. I guarantee all of this fighting between Democratic party and the Republicans will get even worse when January gets closer. They will do whatever they can too make the President look bad. It’s not about helping the people. Its about what benifits the political agenda. Its very sad whats happening in the USA. No one cares anymore.

  4. No doubt, which is why they are waiting as long as they can to do something. The closer they do it to election day the less likely people will forget they did it.

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