- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Texas has become the biggest GOP-led state to halt its participation in federal unemployment benefits.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced it was opting out of federal programs effective June 26.
According to one analysis, over 1.3 million workers will be impacted.
Texas is joining at least 19 other GOP-led states in ending its participation in federal unemployment benefits early.
On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott told the Labor Department that the state was withdrawing from "further federal unemployment compensation related to the COVID-19 pandemic" effective June 26, which includes an additional $300 in weekly benefits.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment benefits."
The Texas Workforce Commission said in a statement to Insider they'll be providing "additional information to claimants as we transition away from these programs."
According to an analysis from The Century Foundation, over 1.3 million workers in Texas stand to be impacted by all federal benefits getting cut off, with the amount of forgone aid coming to $8.8 billion.
A growing number of GOP states have halted their participation in benefits early, citing the need to get people back to work and to disincentivize increased benefits. That was bolstered by April's disappointing jobs report. However, some experts dispute that the stepped-up benefits lead to workers not returning; one Yale study found they did not reduce employment during the pandemic.
Some advocates and politicians have also argued that states cannot cut off Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), saying that the Labor Department is obligated to disburse those benefits under the CARES Act. However, workers receiving extended benefits could still be cut off completely.
Sen. Bernie Sanders a letter to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh last week urging the DOL to hold states accountable for administering PUA. But, as Insider's Joseph Zeballos-Roig reports, the Biden administration hasn't answered that call yet, as the early expiration of benefits looms within weeks for millions of American workers.
Some Democrats assailed the move in Texas Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon accused GOP governors of sabotaging the economic recovery by ending stimulus aid programs months ahead of their end date.
"These workers are not just losing $300 extra per week," he said in a statement. "Many are losing everything, and their incomes will be zero."
Read the original article on Business Insider