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Gov. Wolf urges Congress to extend $600 federal unemployment benefit

The governor said the benefit has helped thousands of Pennsylvanians put food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is still needed today.
Credit: WPMT FOX43
Governor Wolf

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Governor Tom Wolf on Friday urged Congress to extend the $600 federal unemployment benefit, saying it has helped thousands of Pennsylvanians put food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has brought about an unprecedented situation where hardworking Pennsylvanians, some of whom have been steadily employed since they were teenagers, lost their jobs or are unable to find work,” Wolf said in a press release. “This federal unemployment program is helping thousands of Pennsylvania families to pay their bills and put food on the table. These are people who work hard and want a job, so an abrupt loss of this financial support will be devasting to them and harm our economy.

“Congress must act quickly and continue the extra $600 benefit. Pennsylvanians deserve all of the support possible during this crisis, and they need this benefit right now. That’s why I’m imploring Congressional Republicans to do the right thing and pass an extension of this critical program.”

The FPUC program, funded entirely by the CARES Act, ended on July 25. The U.S. House of Representatives has already voted to continue the benefit, but the Senate has yet to approve its extension.

“More than $15 billion in FPUC funds have been put directly into the pockets of over 2 million Pennsylvanians since this program was implemented in mid-April,” said Pennsylvania Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “For every week that Congress delays and fails to extend this program, Pennsylvanians lose $1 billion in support. That’s money we can’t afford to lose.”

The Department of Labor & Industry manages the state’s regular unemployment compensation program and new federal CARES Act unemployment programs, including FPUC.