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Unemployed workers face critical decisions as $600-a-week in federal aid comes to an end

Talks continue in Washington but no new deal
Money $100 bills
Posted at 3:53 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 19:12:36-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Money is drying up for unemployed workers and rent is due again in a few days as the month comes to an end.

Talks continue in Washington about extending benefits for the jobless, but there is no deal yet.

Stephen Porto of Boca Raton is trying to figure out how he will pay his bills without the $600 a week in federal unemployment money.

"I was watching the news last night, and they said they're either going to do away with it or cut it drastically because they're paying people not to work," Porto said.

RELATED: Parties concur on second stimulus check, but legislation still lacks agreement

He was laid off from his Delray Beach restaurant job in March. Like millions of others, he is now waiting on what Congress will do next.

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, who is up for re-election, spoke with WPTV on Tuesday about the situation.

"We have to get more money in people's pockets," Frankel said.

Stephen Porto
Stephen Porto of Boca Raton is among millions of unemployed workers wondering how he will pay his bills as the $600 federal stimulus checks come to end in July.

She said balancing a financial stimulus package against the federal deficit is something Democrats and Republicans will need to agree on as the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of going away.

"Democrats are not coming at this as if it's our way or the highway … We cannot afford to do that for the sake of the people for this country, because people are hurting, and so both sides will have to compromise," Frankel said.

It leaves people like Porto waiting to see what will happen next.

"There's a lot of people looking for work, like myself, that need that money to survive, pay our rents and pay our bills," Porto said.

Republican Sen. Rick Scott's office emailed a statement to WPTV saying he is focused on helping individuals and small businesses.

"Senator Scott is concerned that Congress wants to spend another $1 trillion when they don't even understand how much is still unspent from the previous coronavirus response packages," the statement read.