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September 15, 2021

Pressley Joins Ocasio-Cortez on Bill to Extend Pandemic Unemployment Insurance

Bill Text (PDF) 

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) joined Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) in announcing a bill to extend all federal pandemic unemployment insurance through February 1, 2022.  If passed, benefits would be retroactive to September 6 when the benefits expired.  The bill text is available here 

“Expanded unemployment benefits have been a critical lifeline for millions of families struggling to make ends meet throughout this public health and economic crisis,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “This pandemic is far from over and we must extend these critical benefits to help keep our most vulnerable families fed, safe and housed. I’m proud to join my sister Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on a bill to do just that.” 

“I’ve been very disappointed on both sides of the aisle that we’ve just allowed pandemic unemployment assistance to completely lapse, when we are clearly not fully recovered from the cost effects of the pandemic,” said Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez in a townhall Tuesday evening, previewing the release of the bill. “I simply just could not allow this to happen without at least trying.” 

Federal pandemic unemployment insurance and stimulus checks lifted nearly 8.5 million Americans out of poverty last year, according to recently released data from the Census Bureau. Cutting off this aid now, as coronavirus cases surge and job growth stagnates, threatens to reverse that progress and deepen existing inequities. In August, the U.S. economy created the fewest number of jobs in seven months. Unemployment for Black and Hispanic women actually grew in June.  

Across the Commonwealth, roughly 330,000 Massachusetts residents have lost access to COVID unemployment insurance benefits since the Federal benefits expired. 


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