Editorial: Congress must extend unemployment insurance benefits

As painful as the COVID-19 recession has been for many Americans, the abrupt downturn could have been far worse. And perhaps the smartest action taken by the federal government so far has been those expanded unemployment payments made possible by the Coronavirus Aid, Response and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In Maryland, for example, the payout has been exceptional (if not always easily navigated by applicants). State officials estimate that from March 9 to June 20, unemployment payments in Maryland totaled $3.3 billion of which $1.3 billion comes from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for folks who wouldn’t have otherwise qualified for any form of assistance. Another $46 million went to people who had already exhausted their normal 13 weeks of benefits. (Balt Sun)

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