More than 60 organizations urge Sens. Loeffler, Perdue to support comprehensive COVID relief

Chanelle Parthemer has been unemployed since August.

"I think in my bank account right now, I have a few dollars left," she explained Wednesday afternoon.

Parthemer said she's been approved for unemployment insurance benefits.

However, like so many others, she told FOX 5 her claim is still pending and she's unable to contact anyone with the Georgia Department of Labor.

"I have tried to call every office can get a phone number for. I've gotten an automatic response such as 'we're so sorry. We are behind on processing payments," she detailed.

With thousands of Georgians still in need, dozens of organizations released a letter to U.S. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

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They're urging the senators to use their power in Congress to help push for COVID-19 relief. These organizations believe there will be devastating economic consequences without it.

"Two senators certainly do have a tremendous level of influence in the 100-member U.S. Senate," Danny Kanso, with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, said.

In just a few weeks, federal economic relief programs are set to expire.

The groups want them to support extending comprehensive relief to include increasing SNAP benefits, providing adequate unemployment insurance benefits, and providing more aid to state and local governments to avoid job loss.

"We stand on the edge of what could be a very deep and painful and long-lasting economic recession. We really are at an incredibly vulnerable point," Kanso explained.

The senators said they are fighting to get more targeted relief.

In a joint statement, they said:

“When COVID-19 hit, we both supported bipartisan relief and delivered over $47 billion in direct federal aid to our state, including more than $14.7 billion in relief to 174,000 small businesses, saving 1.5 million jobs. Today, we are fighting to get more targeted relief to the people of Georgia.

"We should immediately reallocate the remaining CARES funding, provide another round of PPP to our struggling small businesses and extend critical relief through the end of the year so every family can make ends meet.

"While it’s encouraging to see some of our Democrat colleagues come back to the negotiating table after their previously outlandish demands that had nothing to do with combatting COVID, let’s not forget that every single Senate Democrat blocked this kind of additional relief just weeks ago.

"It’s time to get more relief to the people of Georgia right now and Senate Democrats are the only ones standing in the way of making that a reality.”

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Kanson went on to say "it seems that has named, sort of, the lowest hanging fruit in the debate. But what we think is most important is that aid to real Georgia, to families, to those real folks on the edge.”

Georgians like Parthemer.

"I'm, kind of, in panic mode," she described.

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