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CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship August 6, 2020
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August 6, 2020

How much more will people lose before Trump and McConnell provide help? The House enacted its HEROES bill on May 15. The Senate has not yet acted; its majority caucus is divided.  Since the House acted, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has soared from 1.4 million to 4.8 million. We have gained back some of the jobs lost, but are still at least 13 million below the February peak, and now, as weekly unemployment claims have well exceeded 1 million for 20 weeks, job growth sharply slowed in July. About 30 million jobless people are now going without the $600/week extra unemployment compensation, and that is making it much harder for them to pay rent or buy food.

COVID-19 relief: North Dakota groups push Congress to move more quickly
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August 5, 2020

BISMARCK, N.D. - As COVID-19 cases continue to spike in North Dakota, social service support groups are asking the U.S. Senate to act quickly before its August recess and approve more emergency assistance. Many North Dakotans are on the brink of hunger and homelessness because of COVID-19-related shutdowns, according to Cheryl Ann Kary - executive director of the Sacred Pipe Resource Center, which provides services to Native American families in the Bismarck area.

With $600 UI benefits lapsed, MomsRising members, Senators call for extension
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August 4, 2020

Sharmah Wardlaw of Atlanta, Georgia worked as a concierge at a local convention center, a job she had held for 15 years, when the coronavirus pandemic set in. Suddenly, no conventions, no visitors – and for Wardlaw, no work. She relied in part on the additional $600 in federal unemployment benefits – payments that ended last month. "Without the $600 a week boost, we won’t even be able to keep up with the rent,” she said. “We are praying that Congress extends it. Otherwise we don’t know what we’re going to do.” 

Human needs advocates compare Senate’s HEALS Act to House’s HEROES Act – and find it sorely lacking 
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August 3, 2020

As millions of Americans lose access to additional unemployment benefits, face the dire threat of eviction and homelessness, and increasingly grapple with food insecurity, advocates from across Iowa and the U.S. last week came together to call upon the Senate to move quickly to pass robust legislation in response the COVID-19 crisis. The Facebook Live event, hosted by Tax March Iowa, included Sister Richelle Friedman, CHN’s Director of Public Policy and an Iowa native

CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship July 31, 2020
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July 31, 2020

Eyes Upon the Senate Edition. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) let the clock run out on the $600/week Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) and the federal moratorium on evictions. As you read this, neither are in place. It will take perhaps two weeks for states to reprogram to restore a flat level of PUC; months more to try for a certain percentage of prior earnings, as the Senate “HEALS” Act eventually calls for.  Now, McConnell is abandoning the $1T HEALS Act to try to get a bill that provides $200/week in extra pandemic aid, and does nothing else – no help for those facing eviction, no state/local aid, no SNAP increase, no Medicaid funds, no cash stimulus payments,  no vaccine research, treatment, or testing funds, no child care, no paid leave.

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