AOC says she can't let federal pandemic unemployment benefits expire 'without at least trying' a new bill

·1 min read

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) on Wednesday introduced a bill to extend enhanced coronavirus pandemic unemployment benefits until Feb. 1, 2022. If the bill is passed, the benefits, which expired earlier this month, would be retroactive to Sept. 6.

It's unlikely Ocasio-Cortez will have success since the political will simply doesn't appear to be there. President Biden said it was "appropriate" for the benefits to end in September, as Congress planned, and even when the White House offered states with high jobless rates the option to repurpose federal relief money to extend the aid, none of them did. Meanwhile, other profile congressional Democrats, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have mostly remained quiet on the issue, The Washington Post's Jeff Stein noted.

Ocasio-Cortez seems aware that there's not a lot of momentum behind her effort. But after expressing disappointment in lawmakers form both parties for allowing the benefit strategy to run its course, she said she "simply could not allow this to happen without at least trying."

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