Activists rally outside Fred Upton's house

NOW: Activists rally outside Fred Upton’s house

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- Activists with Michiana United gathered in St Joseph Thursday for a rally at Congressman Fred Upton's house to encourage him to support continued unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

The group met at Tiscornia Park for a march to Congressman Fred Upton's house.

While Upton voted in support of the previous economic relief package, the Cares Act, he did not vote for the latest relief package, the Heroes Act.

The Heroes Act passed the House and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

Those at the rally say the extra $600 is necessary because so many were laid off during the pandemic.

"My mom and myself both completely lost our source of income from the pandemic. So we were greatly assisted by the stipend, the $1200 relief fund, and also the $600 was really keeping the rent paid, the car bills paid, the groceries. And now all of that is coming to an end but we are still in a pandemic and there are so many out of work," Angel Banuelos said.

Congressman Upton released the following statement when we requested comment:

“With overwhelming bipartisan support, we passed the CARES Act in March to help workers and their families with unemployment benefits. And our office has been working 24/7 to try and help folks across southwest Michigan get their unemployment checks still held up in the state’s backlog. It’s clear many are still struggling to make ends meet. Just today 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment, and Michigan’s unemployment rate remains north of 14 percent. Congress now needs to reach bipartisan consensus again on further help for workers and their families.”

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