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Unemployment aid will expire soon, so will federal support for hospitals: Congress called to act on new package

Congress only has a few weeks left to act, as federal aid for the unemployed expires at the close of 2020.

New York’s unemployment rate has stayed above 9%, even as businesses reopened in the summer and fall. Now, as a second surge of cases shuts down different parts of the economy again – unemployment rates are creeping back up.

Governor Andrew Cuomo urged Congress to pass a package that extends unemployment support for jobless workers. “You allowed these benefits to expire in the middle of a public health pandemic?” Cuomo said. “It’s as reckless as you can be.”

However, another major component of federal support that will end at the close of December is support for hospitals. That comes as cases are expected to hit a peak in this second wave after the holiday season.

State and local governments are seeking billions of dollars to support their budgets as the pandemic continues to destroy the economy overall.

President-elect Joe Biden has said he supports a $2 trillion stimulus plan that would include funding for states. Meanwhile, Republicans are looking for something smaller that would provide direct aid to businesses, as well as for those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.