April 07, 2020

Senate Democrats Urge Trump Administration to Ensure Workers Receive Unemployment Insurance Benefits as Quickly as Possible

The senators outlined additional actions the administration should take to help states disburse supercharged unemployment insurance

Text of Letter (PDF)


Washington, D.C. – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and 34 Democratic colleagues to press the Trump administration to take additional action to ensure Americans out of work receive unemployment insurance as quickly as possible.


The senators outline a number of actions the administration should take to help states disburse supercharged unemployment insurance: provide technological support, assist states in meeting the requirements to receive administrative funding, expand the capacity of the Department of Labor’s verification system, issue outstanding guidance, provide flexibility and proactively reach out to state workforce agencies.


“In this time of national crisis, it is critical that the Department of Labor (the Department) does everything in its power to support states in administering the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program and distributing benefits. Over 6.6 million Americans filed an unemployment claim in the last week of March. As coronavirus continues to spread, we expect that this number will only get higher,” the senators wrote. “The Department and state workforce agencies have a monumental task ahead in processing these claims. But, Americans who have lost their jobs don’t have time to wait for a check. People need unemployment compensation now so that they can buy groceries, pay rent, and keep up on their bills. Without it, many Americans won’t be able to make ends meet.” 


The letter is signed by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Kamala D. Harris. (D-Calif.), Angus S. King Jr.(I-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Robert P. Casey (D-Pa.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii).