U.S. Senate debates what should be included on latest COVID-19 relief bill

Mar 4, 2021

Credit Courtesy aoc.gov

The US Senate is wrestling with what measures should be in the latest coronavirus relief plan, including whether to reduce un-employment benefits or shorten the time they are made available. 

Michigan US Senator Gary Peters says it is crucial to maintain those benefits at 400 dollars a week, on top of what a state already offers residents who have lost jobs due to the pandemic.  

And Peters says the relief plan -- which would extend un-employment payments until the end of August – must pass before those benefits are scheduled to run out…in the middle of this month.  

“Particularly as we’ve seen just over the last month the unemployment claims have actually increased in Michigan," said Peters. "We want to make sure that we give folks the financial stability of knowing that they have some security for a few months as opposed to a few days.” 

Some Democrats have called for extending un-employment benefits indefinitely.   

But President Biden told senators it’s more important to get the measure approved than to add items that could increase friction with GOP senators and moderate Democrats.