It is inexcusable that Mitch McConnell has held the Senate hostage while a staggering number of Americans continue to file for unemployment and the HEROES Act, the next coronavirus economic relief package, has not yet passed. And now, as the virus wreaks havoc across the country, peaking and continuing to spread in a majority of states, laid-off workers have yet another burden to face in the coming weeks: the end of the $600 unemployment benefits provided by the CARES Act.

This additional $600 stipend, which expired on Friday, has quite literally meant life or death for millions of America’s families. It’s given families the ability to pay for their rent or mortgage, make car payments, or afford groceries and prescriptions.

Let’s be clear: Nobody wants to be unemployed. A job is about more than a paycheck—it’s a source of dignity. Millions are out of work through no fault of their own. I urge Senator Roger Wicker and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith to vote to pass the HEROES Act.

Unless the Senate passes the HEROES Act, which proposes continuing these payments into January, Americans will needlessly suffer. Our economy will continue to spiral downward and any recovery will take longer. It’s time to pass the HEROES Act, extend unemployment and keep working people whole.

In Soldarity,

Robert Shaffer, President

MS AFL-CIO

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