Merkley reacts to jobless numbers, urges proper priorities

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) — Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., released the following statement Thursday after weekly unemployment claims shot up to a record-shattering 6.6 million, showing the economic devastation of the coronavirus crisis:

“Over the last several weeks, I’ve spoken with so many Oregon workers and small business owners who are terrified about what this crisis means for their families and their futures. Behind these historically bad numbers are millions of real people whose lives have been thrown into chaos through no fault of their own. We need to throw lifelines out to struggling families, and we need to get those lifelines out now.

“As the federal government works to implement the last relief package and Congress works to write the next one, let’s keep our priorities straight. This cannot be another opportunity for the rich and powerful to line their pockets.

“We need to make sure that help gets to real people and small businesses. We need to make sure that help gets to every state and territory across this great nation—not just red states or blue states. And we need to do much more to help the working families who are the backbone of America, and who are facing a crisis the likes of which most of us have never seen.

“We will get through this by supporting one another. Let’s get to work.”