Nick McWilliams reporting – With multiple coronavirus-relief acts set to expire by the end of the year, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown spoke Wednesday, putting pressure on lawmakers to renew what he calls “critical” assistance.

Both the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs will expire December 26th, with eviction moratoriums, student loan forbearance and expanded paid family leave benefits running out on the last day of 2020.

Brown says that one of the biggest concerns relates to workers who depend on jobs that have been hardest hit by COVID, and what happens to their unemployment benefits.

“People will have fewer weeks now the rest of the pandemic. Unemployment is set to expire at the end of the month. It means people have fewer weeks of U.I. benefits. Even though people are not called back in large numbers to work, it means gig workers and self-employed workers will lose their unemployment altogether.”

The senator was joined by Liz Valenti from Dayton, who owns two restaurants that were forced to lay-off over 50 employees at one point, along with Attorney Graham Bowman with the Ohio Poverty Law Center.

Both expressed the need for renewed relief, with Bowman noting he expects substantial eviction rates during the first week of the year if no extension occurs.

“Come January, after this eviction moratorium expires, we’re going to see a massive flood of these eviction cases getting to the stage where people are actually put out of their home. So we believe a stronger moratorium is needed immediately, or today’s crisis will become a catastrophe come January.”

Many other senators from around the country have drawn up proposals for what the next round of relief should look like, but lawmakers still sit in a stalemate with the discussion.

One of the latest pushes has come from a bipartisan group of lawmakers who announced a $908 million stimulus Tuesday.

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