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Congressman Brown Joins Calls for Emergency Financial Assistance to Newly-Jobless Maryland Workers

Washington, June 30, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony Brown (MD-04) joined calls from Maryland Delegate Vaughn Stewart’s (D-Montgomery), local leaders and unemployed Marylanders advocating for emergency financial assistance to newly-jobless families still waiting for unemployment benefits.

The push by Del. Stewart would give $1,200 payments to claimants who have yet to qualify for unemployment compensation. The funds would help tide families over until their claims are processed. The proposal is modeled after a similar initiative in Vermont started by Republican Governor Phil Scott. Expanding and strengthening unemployment benefits was a bipartisan priority for Congress at the outset of the pandemic including; a 13 week extension, expanded eligibility and an additional $600 per week for beneficiaries.

“Thousands of Marylanders continue to report unacceptable delays, denials and glitches with state unemployment benefits. As we continue to work through this pandemic and its economic toll on the working families of our state, we need to get aid to those in need as soon as possible. This proposal does just that, turning promises into real, concrete action,” said Congressman Anthony Brown. “The missteps, excuses, dismissiveness and false-promises offered by the Hogan Administration have failed Maryland families, causing untold pain and concern about paying for rent, food and other bills. This proposal is a common-sense way for the state to begin to fix this problem and make good on their promises.”  

"I appreciate Congressman Brown's support for our effort to provide immediate relief to Marylanders still waiting for their benefits. Thousands of Marylanders spend their days on hold, listening to the ice cream truck version of a Beethoven composition, in the off chance that someone will answer and help them afford housing, medicine, and food,” said Delegate Vaughn Stewart. "With a pen stroke, Governor Hogan can alleviate mass suffering, hardship, and depression. Unfortunately, the Hogan administration seems more worried about the possibility of a few jobless Marylanders being overpaid by a hundred bucks than the reality of thousands waiting months for a single dollar.”

In total, 848,920 Marylanders have filed unemployment claims since March 14, including nearly 50,000 residents in the most recent weekly filing period. Tens of thousands of claims are still waiting to be processed, and even more are waiting for their first payments.

Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson has thus far rejected calls for immediate relief for unemployed families.


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