American Workers, Families, and Employers Assistance Act
AKA "THE HEALS ACT" | This plan is unacceptable
Mitch McConnell’s unrealistic and bizarre proposal claims to establish a weekly benefit that is 70% of previous wage earnings. This plan disproportionately affects those with lower incomes. For those on the bottom end of the income scale, this does not provide the federal minimum wage, let alone a basic income of $15 per hour.
Let’s be clear on this 70% of income though:
It is 70% including your state benefit, not in addition to it.
It caps at $500.
We’ve been hearing people saying that the 70% plan is good because it means you will receive more than you are receiving now if you are "high income." THIS IS NOT TRUE. Currently you can receive an additional $600, under Mitch’s new plan you can only receive a MAX of $500.
This disproportionately punishes low income individuals and individuals whose income is more complicated, like those who have mixed source income.
The Plan States:
For the next 10 weeks, the FPUC will be cut to $200.
During those 10 weeks states are to transition their incredibly old and fussy systems to this new plan of 70% of income. Unlikely.
If a state does not want to transition or can’t, they can stay at the $200 level for another 8 weeks. This means people would be at the $200 benefit for 18 weeks. It leaves only 4 weeks of the 70% benefit before it would be set to expire on December 31.
The $200 FPUC does not equal minimum wage, let alone a livable wage. See our chart below for the basic living wage and basic unemployment benefit gap in your state.
This plan is, plainly and simply, cruel.
Mitch McConnell claims this country is in recovery, but because of the government’s inaction, COVID is actually raging HARDER here than it was when the CARES act was passed. We had more new cases today than we did when CARES passed. We are in a growing pandemic. We are not in recovery. Pandemic assistance should continue until the pandemic is over.
As extendPUA.org consistently points out - it is currently not safe to go back to work for many people. This is why these benefits must provide for a living wage. We are not looking for handouts. We want to go back to work, but we must continue to wait until it is safe to do so.