You are reading

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to Introduce a Bill to Extend Federal Unemployment Insurance

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during a virtual town hall Tuesday (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)

Sept. 15, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will introduce a bill in the House of Representatives this week to extend federal unemployment insurance through February, she announced Tuesday.

The federal unemployment benefits expired Sept. 6 — leaving millions of Americans without income as they look for work. An estimated 800,000 New York City residents lost all their benefits.

Ocasio-Cortez’s bill includes retroactive unemployment checks to cover the period beginning Sept. 6— while going through Feb. 1, 2022.

The congresswoman said cutting off aid to the unemployed at this time is a mistake, since the economy has yet to fully recover to pre-COVID-19 levels.

“I’ve been very disappointed on both sides of the aisle that we’ve just simply allowed pandemic unemployment assistance to completely lapse when we are clearly not fully recovered from the consequences of the pandemic,” Ocasio-Cortez said at her virtual town hall Tuesday evening. “I simply just could not allow this to happen without at least trying.”

New York City’s job market has been slow to recover, according to economists. The city is 510,000 payroll jobs short of its pre-COVID-19 peak, according to a recent study by The New School’s Center for New York City Affairs.

The loss of unemployment insurance is affecting up to 10 percent of New York City residents, Ocasio-Cortez said.

The congresswoman admitted that she didn’t know how viable her bill would be in the legislature, but said she couldn’t give up without at least trying to get it passed.

“I’m not entirely sure the prospects of it and I want to be completely honest with you all on that,” Ocasio-Cortez said to constituents during her town hall. “We will work it… even if the majority of the caucus is not onboard we are going to do our best to make that effort.”

email the author: [email protected]

3 Comments

Click for Comments 
Gary

Her other bills have gone nowhere. Neither will this one. I assume she files them just for the publicity.

Reply
No-brainer?

I’m as liberal as they come. I love AOC. But the idea that we need to further extend benefits that have been in place for a YEAR AND A HALF…I just can’t wrap my head around that. I work in social services & have seen firsthand how the previous extensions have disincentivized people to go back to work. While I’m open to being educated, I can’t determine how it can be impossibly for those covered to find work. It’s all over the headlines that businesses can’t fill their vacancies. There may not be positions available in someone’s previous line of work, but most people can secure a retail job. The fact that they’re opting out is no surprise—they’re paid more to stay home. Someone please feel free to challenge me, but not simply on the grounds that you don’t want to lose the money you’re getting.

12
2
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.