NEWS: Sanders Urges Labor Secretary Walsh to Protect Workers as Republican Governors Threaten to Withhold Aid

WASHINGTON, May 13 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Thursday sent a letter to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh urging the Department of Labor to ensure that workers get life-saving unemployment benefits even as Republican governors threaten to take it away.

As Republican Governors across the country indicate they will renege on the promise of life-saving federal unemployment aid, over 1.1 million workers are at risk next month of losing some or all of the unemployment benefits Congress extended in the American Rescue Plan – affecting workers in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming.

“Let’s be clear. There is not a shortage of willing workers in America,” said Sen. Sanders. “There is a shortage of employers willing to pay workers a living wage with decent benefits. If employers truly want to expand their workforce, there is a simple solution: raise wages and provide decent benefits. Punishing unemployed workers who lost their jobs during a pandemic through no fault of their own by taking away their unemployment benefits will not improve the economy. It will only make a bad situation even worse.”

Read the full letter here.