DALLAS - It appears Congress will not act in time to keep an extra source of money flowing to unemployed Texans.
People will still be getting other unemployment benefits, but the $600 weekly boost will be gone on Saturday.
The Texas Workforce Commission says 1.8 million Texans have received that benefit in the last 10 days.
While some people say it’s critical, other politicians worry it’s too high and disincentivizes some from going back to work.
Unemployed Texans eagerly awaiting an extension on benefits from Congress will have to wait a little longer.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he won’t introduce the legislation until next week. McConnell says it will include some form of extra federal money to be paid on top of unemployment insurance.
The current supplement of the weekly $600 is due to expire at the end of the month and even earlier in Texas.
The TWC says state rules prevent them from paying a partial week, so payments end Saturday.
And even if Congress passes additional federal funding, it might not go out to Texans right away.
“It could vary depending on the changes that are needed,” said Cisco Gamez with the TWC. “If it’s going to be just a number change from 600 to another number, that could take about a week or so. If it has to do with the percentage based on the weekly benefit amounts or their base period wages, that could take longer.”
The TWC says people should not file their complaints over the benefits ending with the state. It’s ultimately in Congress’ hands now.
“We’re hoping that they don’t file an appeal with TWC because it won’t make a difference,” Gamez said. “TWC does not have the authority to make any changes to FPUC.”
It’s unclear what sort of support there will be when this hits the Senate floor.
A spokesperson for Senator Ted Cruz told the Texas Tribune he opposes extending 600 weekly payments and instead favors a payroll tax cut for employees and employers.
Meanwhile, Senator John Cornyn supports extending assistance.