MADISON, Wis. — Today, the pandemic unemployment assistance that has kept millions of Americans afloat will expire. As of today, nearly 700,000 Wisconites will get a $2,400 pay cut per month during this pandemic of unprecedented scale. This week also marks the nineteenth consecutive week that more than 1 million Americans — 1.43 million, to be precise — have filed for unemployment assistance.

Check out Opportunity Wisconsin’s conversations with newly unemployed Wisconsinites.

On the final day of this lifeline program, President Trump still has yet to approve extending pandemic unemployment assistance. Instead, Trump has prioritized legal immunity, tax cuts, and bailouts for corporations over direct aid to working- and middle-class families.

Below are recent statements from Mark Westphal, President of the Fox Valley Area Labor Council and Opportunity Wisconsin Steering Committee Member, in response to President Trump’s failure to put Wisconsin families and workers first during this pandemic:

“[Yesterday], we saw tremendously disturbing GDP numbers, which only begin to represent the real fear and pain being felt by workers, small business owners, and middle class families across Wisconsin. So many across the state are continuing to cope with loss of work and income due to this administration’s bungled response to the COVID-19 crisis.”

“The loss of $600 in enhanced unemployment benefits will only make the situation worse and negatively impact GDP for the rest of the year. It didn’t have to be this bad. If the Trump administration continues to prioritize the wealthy and Wall Street over the well-being of the rest of us, we are going to continue to see the real American economy here in our communities crumble.”

“Right now, Wisconsinites are facing unprecedented unemployment, wage loss, sickness, and incredible financial uncertainty. Now is not the time to let these economic relief measures expire. Wisconsinites can’t take another pay cut during this pandemic.”

Earlier this month, Opportunity Wisconsin released a countdown clock highlighting the impending pandemic pay cut that nearly 700,000 unemployed Wisconsin workers will face starting tomorrow, since President Trump failed to extend vital economic relief by today. Now, that clock will start to count forward, to track the number of days Wisconsinites are going without paychecks during this pandemic.

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