Pritzker makes another plea for federal aid to help jobless before benefits end

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(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker said time is running out for unemployed Illinoisans.

During his daily COVID-19 briefing, the governor pleaded with the federal government to pass another stimulus bill because CARES Act funding expires Dec. 26.

“Unless the Republican Senate gets a stimulus bill moving in December, Republicans will be putting a big lump of coal in the Christmas stocking of a whole lot of American families,” Pritzker said.

The governor said the 2020 recession has seen 3.5 times the regular unemployment claims in the first 9 months compared to the recessions in 2001 and 2008.

Congressional Republicans and Democrats generally agree that a new stimulus bill is needed, but they disagree on the details. Some Republicans oppose another round of direct checks. Another sticking point is some don’t want the federal government to bail out states that had financial struggles before the pandemic, such as Illinois.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to push for a bill in excess of $2 trillion, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is looking for a package in the neighborhood of $500 billion.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday reported 8,322 new cases of the coronavirus and 47 additional deaths. That is the first time the state reported fewer than 10,000 new cases since last Wednesday.

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