July 23, 2020/Press

As Jobless Rises and NC Barrels Towards “Crisis,” Tillis Refuses to Stand Up for Out-of-Work North Carolinians

North Carolinians are staring down a looming “crisis” that is “now unavoidable” as federal benefits expire on Saturday, yet Senator Tillis, Mitch McConnell, and Senate Republicans have yet to settle on a plan to help the more than 2 million North Carolinians who have filed jobless claims because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The clock is ticking for North Carolinians out of work through no fault of their own, yet Senator Tillis wasted critical time and now is nowhere to be found,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “Senator Tillis’ failure to help those out of work will make it harder for North Carolina families to afford their medication, put food on the table, or keep the lights on. His inaction is completely inexcusable and will only further the suffering folks are feeling right now.”

Senator Tillis’ inaction on behalf of those out work now means a gap in federal unemployment “is now unavoidable.” If federal unemployment insurance disappears, average weekly payments in North Carolina will drop from $877 to just $277.

North Carolinians are reporting that the federal benefits have been “a lifeline” and made a “major difference.” “I can’t even figure out how I would have survived” without them, one North Carolinian said. Another said he can “sleep at night now.”

Yet Tillis has signaled he’s against extending benefits. Today, he released a “plan” to combat COVID that “does not mention… unemployment benefits.” Earlier, he said that he believed extending benefits may “make the problem worse.