Maine Unemployment Rate Triples As Susan Collins And Mitch McConnell Refuse To Act

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Portland, MAINE — Today, Maine announced that the unemployment rate is up to 10.6%, with approximately 138,000 filing unemployment claims since March 15 when the economic shutdown due to coronavirus began. This week, the US Department of Labor announced that over 2.4 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment last week, bringing the nine week total for new filings to almost 39 million nationwide. 

While Maine workers face rising unemployment rates and Maine small businesses try to deal with a broken and flawed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Senator Susan Collins and her colleagues in the Senate refuse to act.

The House passed a comprehensive stimulus package last week that included major fixes to the PPP, but Collins’ boss—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—wants to wait weeks or longer to even take up consideration of a new stimulus package, and has already ruled out extending unemployment benefits for workers who have found themselves out of a job because of the coronavirus crisis. One Republican leader even said he “didn’t see the need” to help out those hit hardest by the economic crisis.

“Susan Collins has made it clear that she wants Mitch McConnell to be in charge of the Senate, and that’s clearly bad news for Mainers struggling to make ends meet during this crisis,” said Willy Ritch, executive director of 16 Counties Coalition. “She has admitted she set up the PPP to help big corporations and big banks and small businesses were left behind. And now she and her Republican colleagues are refusing to take action to help Maine workers. We need to tell Senator Collins to stand up to McConnell and act before it’s too late.”

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About the 16 Counties Coalition The 16 Counties Coalition is a year-long grassroots advocacy campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of families and working Mainers and encouraging Senator Susan Collins to vote in favor of the people she was elected to represent and defend. The campaign will mobilize members through small- and large-scale events, through digital action, and paid television, radio, and digital ads.

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