The Biden administration on Friday backtracked on previous comments signaling that enhanced weekly federal unemployment benefits would be allowed to expire as scheduled next month.
During her daily media briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki indicated that President Joe Biden has left open the possibility of extending federal unemployment benefits — even though a Federal Reserve report shows those benefits are encouraging people to sit out of the workforce.
As the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the economy added about 943,000 jobs in July, attention at the briefing turned toward those benefits.
“Given the strength of today’s jobs numbers, has the president decided that he’s not going to seek to renew the beefed-up unemployment benefits when they expire next month?” Nancy Cordes, CBS News’ chief White House correspondent, asked Psaki.
“I know earlier this summer he said that it would make sense to let them lapse, but that was before the delta variant really took hold,” Cordes said.
“There has not been any decision about this at this point,” Psaki said.
Psaki tells @nancycordes that “there has not been any decision” yet about whether the Biden administration will seek to renew expanded unemployment benefits when they expire in early September https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/N5UB6IUdOj
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 6, 2021
“He’s still deciding whether to ask to renew them, whether to seek to renew them or not?” Cordes said.- READ MORE