PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Monday is the last day many unemployed Americans are receiving hundreds of extra dollars from the federal government. Negotiations to extend it continue on Capitol Hill.
But will there be a replacement any time soon?
A last payment of $600 from the U.S. Treasury is the end of Janet McInteer’s lifeline to pay her bills, plus food and gas.
The single mom from West Orange has been selling masks since March, after losing her job at a medical device company. But even those sales have died down.
“It’s a shame that you have to go through it, but so many millions of people are going through it with me,” McInteer told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner on Monday.
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The CARES Act‘s $600 weekly benefit expired July 31. Republicans, who have the Senate majority, have proposed a stimulus package called the “Heals Act” that would reduce the aid to $200 until October and eventually be based on whether the person is earning 70% of their previous wages.
“We are in the midst of attempting to create negotiations,” New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said.
Democrats have majority in the House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the payments should be tied to the jobless rate and shrink as the economy improves, citing a Yale study that finds no evidence the payments discourage people from working.
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh told Rozner almost a quarter of the city’s residents are now unemployed, so losing this extra check is going to hurt.
“The lines are only getting longer and the situation is not getting any better,” Sayegh said.
He’s talking about lines at one food pantry, which is going on 22 weeks of emergency mode.
McInteer said she doesn’t know how much her mask making can fill the gaps, and like millions of Americans hopes lawmakers cancel their August vacations to hammer out a solution.