CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — WorkForce West Virginia continues to deal with tens of thousands of unemployed, with an eye on help from Washington. Congressional Democrats and candidates support restoring the $600 in federal supplemental unemployment checks, but Republicans want that lowered to $400.
“I mean I would support the $600 a week. I mean that brought in $40 million a week to the West Virginia economy and the loss of that has really been hurting us,” said Cathy Kunkel, (D) Nominee U.S. House WV-Dist. 2.
“There’s been a bit of push back of people not getting back to work because the $600 a week is just a little too high,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.
In the showdown vote, Democrats were able to block the Republican bill in the Senate. GOP leaders said theirs was the most affordable option.
“We have put together a new targeted proposal containing several of the most urgent and most popular policies that would help Americans right now,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R) Kentucky – Majority Leader.
But community activists said it left too many things out.
“It doesn’t provide protections for renters from evictions, protections for landlords. It doesn’t provide food security. It doesn’t bump up the SNAP benefits,” said Gary Zuckett, Executive Director of West Virginia Citizens Action.
Critics also say it needs more money for Medicaid, since so many unemployed are losing their health insurance.
“Congressional Democrats wants to spend $30 trillion, Republicans countered with a half a trillion. The two sides will have to find room to compromise, with a little more than seven weeks to go before election day,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.