Scott: On Eve of Labor Day Weekend, August Jobs Report Demonstrates Need for Senate Action

September 4, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 1.4 million jobs in August with the unemployment rate at 8.4 percent. 

“As we approach Labor Day, the August jobs report shows that while the economy is slowly recovering, the pandemic is continuing to devastate workers, families, and communities. The absence of federal leadership has allowed this public health emergency to balloon into an economic crisis of historic proportions. More than 29 million laid-off workers are relying on regular or pandemic unemployment insurance payments, and the economy has experienced the highest weekly unemployment benefit claims on record every week for the past six months.

“We cannot become desensitized to the severe financial hardship facing millions of our fellow Americans. Workers, families, and businesses need immediate relief.

“More than 100 days ago, the House passed the Heroes Act to provide nearly $1 trillion in funding for local governments to prevent widespread budget cuts and layoffs, expand access to emergency paid leave, help schools reopen safely, and expand testing and tracing to stem the spread of infections. The bill would also expand and extend emergency unemployment benefits – a critical lifeline for workers and their families which expired at the end of July due to inaction by the Trump administration and Senate Republicans. 

“The best way to honor the contributions of America’s workers is not with words but with actions. Over the past two years, House Democrats have passed a series of bold pro-worker proposals that would raise the minimum wage, strengthen workers’ right to organize and negotiate for better working conditions, protect workers from discrimination based on age, gender, or sexual orientation, and save hard-earned pensions for more than a million middle-class workers across the country. 

“All of these bills remain stuck in the Senate, as Senator McConnell continues to use his power to serve wealthy special interests at the expense of hardworking people. I once again call on President Trump and Senator Republicans to support a comprehensive coronavirus relief package and work with us on a bold, pro-worker agenda. In the midst of an unprecedented crisis, we cannot turn our backs on our nation’s workers and families.”