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Jones calls for extension of unemployment benefits set to expire for thousands of Alabamians

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones during a livestreamed press briefing. (OFFICE OF SEN. DOUG JONES/FACEBOOK)

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones on Friday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to include an extension of emergency unemployment benefits — which are set to expire in the next week — in the next piece of COVID-19 relief legislation.

“I have heard from people all over Alabama who have lost work and are relying on unemployment assistance during the pandemic,” Jones said. “This economic crisis is impacting everyone in every ZIP code. For weeks, I have spent my time in Washington pushing for another relief bill that would include an extension of emergency unemployment benefits, as well as other things like funding for schools to reopen safely, incentives for states to expand Medicaid and funding for state and local governments hit hard by this downturn.”

Jones said he has been consistent in saying that he believes “people who have the ability to return to work safely should do so.”

“The expiration of these benefits will lead to further suffering and food scarcity,” Jones said. “People will be unable to pay their rent or make mortgage payments. In the middle of a public health crisis, many people may be unable to access health care because of their inability to pay.”

McConnell has for weeks refused to allow a vote on legislation to extend the benefits.

“I am deeply disappointed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s consistent refusal to even consider relief as this critical deadline approached,” Jones said. “I am ready to vote to extend emergency benefits as soon as a bill to do so is brought to the floor. I hope Senator McConnell will come to his senses and work quickly to address this on behalf of the American people.”

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Economy

ADOL is awaiting guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on how to implement the CARES Act extensions.

Education

The COVID relief package includes Jones's legislation to help HBCUs and reduce the number of questions on the FAFSA.