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As I See It

Congress wastes time as benefits dry up

Scott Robert Shaw

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As the song says, time’s a wastin’. Members of Congress however continue to waste time trying to forge a package of legislation to deal with the coronavirus and to prop up the economy. At the heart of the discussion is the $600 boost in federal unemployment benefits that has come to an end. How to extend that seems to be the sticking point. Some think the amount of federal assistance should be less, because some are making more money not working than they did when they were employed, providing a disincentive to return to work. This is what Congress needs to figure out, and quickly. Because without those extra benefits, many people will be unable to make their next rent payment. According to a weekly Census survey, about 115,000 households in the state are behind on their rent. Some 200,000 Wisconsin households are considered at risk of eviction. That equals one quarter of all Wisconsin renters. To make matters worse, the state’s 60 day moratorium on evictions has ended. If we see mass evictions, the homelessness crisis will worsen, and could further destabilize the economy. Those who are hurting need help now, but differences remain between the House and Senate on how best to do that. They need to find a compromise soon, because time’s a wastin’.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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