News

Join the Campaign

7.22.20

As North Carolina Approaches Two Million Unemployment-Insurance Claims, Cal Cunningham Echoes Governor Cooper’s Call For Extending Federal Benefits

As the expiration date for federal benefits quickly approaches, North Carolina’s unemployment insurance claims continue to surge, nearing two million. But Thom Tillis and Mitch McConnell continue to delay action on additional coronavirus relief, leaving out-of-work North Carolinians without certainty. 

Governor Cooper urged Congress to extend the benefits yesterday, saying: “The (federal) program has been a lifeline for families and their communities, giving people the ability to pay their rent and utilities, put food on their table and make ends meet.” 

Thom Tillis’ actions as Speaker of the House left North Carolina with “one of the stingiest state unemployment programs in the country,” which is why North Carolinians have to rely so heavily on the federal benefits. If he lets these benefits expire, they will lose nearly 80% of their current benefits. Yet somehow Tillis’ office has expressed  concerns that extending benefits now would “make the problem worse.” It’s clear — North Carolinians couldn’t count on Tillis to stand up for them in Raleigh, and they certainly can’t count on him in Washington. 

Thom Tillis’ toxic record on health care and gutting unemployment benefits has left North Carolina in a worse place to combat this public health and economic crisis. And now, his inaction in Washington is inexcusable. 

North Carolina deserves a leader who will support them as they weather this crisis. Cal Cunningham has called for four priorities to be included in the next coronavirus relief package, emphasizing the need for extended federal unemployment benefits, relief for state and local government budget shortfalls, resources for schools, and an incentive to expand Medicaid. 

As Governor Cooper said, “The clock is ticking, and all eyes are on Washington.”


Winston-Salem Journal: N.C. nears 2 million unemployment-insurance claims; governor urges extension of federal benefits

By Richard Craver- July 20, 2020

  • North Carolina is approaching 2 million state and federal unemployment-insurance claims as the clock ticks down on Saturday’s expiration of the first round of federal benefits.
  • Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper urged Tuesday that the Trump administration and Congress extend the $600 weekly benefit.
  • “The (federal) program has been a lifeline for families and their communities, giving people the ability to pay their rent and utilities, put food on their table and make ends meet,” Cooper said.
  • The $600 weekly amount was passed — barely — in Congress as a national level benefit to get the payments out quickly rather than determine payments by individual states.
  • About 28% of the 4.23 million North Carolinians considered in the state’s workforce as of mid-June have filed a state or federal UI claim.