Labor and Treasury officials advised states to use pandemic funds to continue paying out unemployment benefits after they’ve expired even as a record 10 million new jobs remain available.
The Biden administration last week told lawmakers in a letter it is “appropriate” for expanded unemployment benefits to expire on September 6th.
More than 11 million jobless workers could see their jobless benefits expire or see their aid reduced by $300 a week.
But that didn’t stop them from offering a workaround.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal advising on ways to circumvent the expiration date set by Congress.
“The American Rescue Plan allocated $350 billion to state and local governments to support communities’ continuing response to the pandemic, address its economic impacts, and lay the groundwork for a strong and equitable recovery,” the letter reads.
“Now, in states where a more gradual wind-down of income support for unemployed workers makes sense based on local economic conditions, American Rescue Plan funds can be activated to cover the cost of providing assistance to unemployed workers beyond Sept. 6,” they write.