The Department of Labor said it can no longer pay an extra $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits to people in 22 Republican-led states that are terminating them early.

A Biden administration official told CNN that the department had already done all it could to extend the benefits.

“There’s nothing we can do,” the official said. “Taking away lifelines isn’t going to help anything.”

Over the past two weeks, Republican governors have decided to terminate one or more of the programs contained in the federal expansion of the unemployment system. The governors have cited workforce shortages and the improving economy as reasons to stop some unemployment payments.

Texas, Indiana and South Carolina are among the states ending the pandemic unemployment program early, CNN reported.

People in those states receiving normal unemployment benefits will continue to receive payments but will not get a $300 boost.

Approximately 3.6 million jobless Americans will forego $21.7 billion in benefits as a result of the state actions, according to an analysis by The Century Foundation, CNN reported.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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