The governor says the federal unemployment benefit program has helped thousands of Pennsylvanians.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Gov. Tom Wolf is urging Congress to act quickly and extend the $600 federal unemployment benefit.

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“COVID-19 has brought about an unprecedented situation where hardworking Pennsylvanians, some of whom have been steadily employed since they were teenagers, lost their jobs or are unable to find work,” said Gov. Wolf in a press release.

He credits the federal unemployment benefit program with helping “thousands of Pennsylvanians” and urges Congress to act quickly. He asks Republicans “to do the right thing” and extend the benefit.

This comes after the governor joined Sen. Bob Casey earlier this week to call for an extension.

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After the call, Sen. Casey talked one-on-one with KDKA’s Meghan Schiller to explain why he thinks people in our area need the cash.

“It’s the right thing to do for workers when you have a public health crisis and an economic and jobs crisis,” he said.

Republicans argue the extra $600 will act as a disincentive for people to head back to work. Others question where the money is going to come.

Sen. Casey wants to help residents stay afloat until Pennsylvanians get back to work.

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“The best way to proceed is to extend it, but to make it a determination about the duration based upon the unemployment level in the state, not at the arbitrary whim of a politician in Washington,” said Sen. Casey.