In Wisconsin’s state legislature, Republicans and Democrats are split between maintaining expanded COVID-19 unemployment benefits and nixing them in July. Unfortunately, that’s making unemployed Wisconsinites — who desperately need economic assistance — casualties in a legislative chess match.
From reporting in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the ongoing debate on unemployment benefits is simply another collision of two very different means of addressing COVID-19. The opposing ideas have come to a head repeatedly throughout this pandemic, but none of the debates have put regular Wisconsinites in the crosshairs quite like this.
According to the initial piece, Democrats are generally in favor of more federal aid to states and an extension of a $600 weekly unemployment boost that has been provided during the pandemic. By contrast, Republicans are hesitant to allow any such measures to persist into the Summer, let alone Fall months that will likely feature an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Democrats point to a dissonance between the source of the funding and where the problems are being tackled. The article states, “Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore, who represents the Milwaukee area, said it was essential to provide more help to struggling workers and state and local governments.”
The following quote from Rep. Moore is then highlighted: “State and local governments are hurting even as they are on the frontline of the public health response to this deadly virus.” The debate raises concerns not only about federal decision making, but the Trump administration’s lack of empathy for employees in an economy that cannot sustain real growth.
You can read more about the ongoing debate in Madison here.