The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

With Nearly 11 Million Americans Unemployed In A Growing Recession, Trump Halts Stimulus Relief Talks

Another 840,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total number of workers drawing unemployment benefits to nearly 11 million amid a health crisis that has now claimed the lives of over 210,00


Another 840,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total number of workers drawing unemployment benefits to nearly 11 million amid a health crisis that has now claimed the lives of over 210,000 in the U.S. As the deadly and costly repercussions of the pandemic and recession grow worse by the day, President Trump announced on Tuesday that he is breaking off negotiations over a second round of critically needed relief for struggling workers, states, schools, and small businesses. Despite recent polling showing that nearly three in four Americans would prefer that Congress prioritize passing a new relief bill, Trump and his allies' top priority is rushing to replace Justice Ginsburg with Trump's far-right Supreme Court nominee and friend of corporations, Amy Coney Barrett.

Last week, the House passed an updated HEROES Act that includes a full extension of the CARES Act's $600 enhanced unemployment benefit provision and improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program, after previously passing an aid bill in May. Meanwhile, Trump's Senate allies have failed to pass any additional relief since the CARES Act and have refused to meet in the middle -- insisting instead on more non-starter tax breaks for the wealthy and blanket immunity for corporations against claims from workers mistreated during the pandemic.

"As Trump and his Senate allies prioritize advancing their radical judicial agenda over the ongoing economic and public health crises, millions of Americans remain jobless, families are battling food insecurity, and tens of thousands of small businesses are shutting their doors for good," said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. "There should be no greater priority for lawmakers than addressing the worsening pandemic and its unprecedented impact on the economy. But it's clear that Trump and his allies' ruthless pursuit of power on the high court comes above all else and at any cost."

As Trump and the Senate put all their energy into jamming through Trump's extremist Supreme Court nominee, it has been...

  • 194 days since the CARES Act was passed -- the last significant comprehensive aid package Congress secured to help the American people through a crisis that is now well past its 6th month of raging through the U.S.
  • 68 days since the CARES Act's weekly $600 enhanced federal unemployment benefits ran out, leaving many families struggling to make ends meet.
  • 60 days since applications for the Paycheck Protection Program closed, leaving small businesses that were denied from the program to fend for themselves.
  • 99 days until Trump's eviction moratorium runs out, potentially resulting in thousands of families losing access to stable housing.

It's Clear More -- Not Less -- Needs to Be Done as the Trump Recession Continues for Millions of Americans:

  • The Hill, 10/7: Nearly one-fourth of American households facing layoffs or pay cuts: Census Bureau. Roughly 32 percent of respondents said it is likely they will be evicted or foreclosed on within the next 60 days despite federal protections meant to prevent a widespread homelessness crisis, and another 6.8 percent said they do not expect to pay their next monthly rent or mortgage payment on time.
  • CNN, 10/7: Billionaires have never been richer despite the pandemic. This polarization between "innovator billionaires" and the rest comes at the end of a decade in which the number of billionaires has doubled and total wealth almost tripled. "In the last two years those using technology to change their business models, products and services have pulled ahead. The Covid-19 crisis just accentuated this divergence," the report said.
  • Wall Street Journal, 10/6: Fed's Powell Says U.S. Faces 'Tragic' Risks From Doing Too Little to Support Economy. 'The expansion is still far from complete,' Mr. Powell said in remarks to be delivered at a virtual economics conference Tuesday. 'At this early stage, I would argue that the risks of policy intervention are still asymmetric. Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship.'"
  • Washington Post, 10/6: Trump just crushed stimulus talks, endangering the U.S. economy and 26 million on unemployment. In short, the U.S. economy is about half-recovered, meaning there is still a long way to go. For weeks, economists and business leaders have warned that the next phase of the recovery will probably be harder and that it would be a huge mistake for politicians to think their job is done.
  • Fox Business, 10/6: Teen unemployment during coronavirus leads to lowest spending in two decades. Just 33% of teens surveyed said they had a part-time job -- which is down 37% from spring 2020 and another 35% compared to fall 2019. What's more, 23% of teens indicated that COVID-19 impacted their ability to find a job.
  • Forbes, 10/6: Further Student Loan Relief In Doubt After Trump Stops All Stimulus Negotiations. The President's statement means that there may be no further stimulus to provide financial assistance to the unemployed, to small businesses, and in particular to student loan borrowers in 2020.

Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog that exposes corruption in public life and holds government officials and corporate special interests accountable by bringing their influence and misconduct to light. In doing so, we make way for policies that advance the interests of all Americans, not just the rich and powerful.