Home Personal Finance Senate rejects GOP attempt to change unemployment benefits in coronavirus stimulus bill

Senate rejects GOP attempt to change unemployment benefits in coronavirus stimulus bill

5
0

The Senate rejected an attempt by four Republican senators to change boosted unemployment benefits included in a mammoth coronavirus stimulus package. 

 

Senators voted 48-48 on an amendment that would cap unemployment benefits at 100 percent of an individual’s salary before they were laid off. Sixty votes were required for the amendment to pass.

 

GOP Sens. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseTwitter comes under fire over Chinese disinformation on coronavirus spread Grants for airlines on the table, despite criticism of bailouts Tensions boil over on Senate floor amid coronavirus debate  MORE (Neb.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSenate passes House’s coronavirus aid bill, sending it to Trump Teetering economy sparks talk of second stimulus package Bill Maher defends Chris Matthews, mocks harassment claim MORE (S.C.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump team fiercely debates how long coronavirus restrictions should stay in place Rand Paul’s coronavirus diagnosis sends shockwaves through Senate Romney to self-quarantine after Paul tests positive MORE (S.C.) pushed for the changes to the coronavirus aid bill over concerns that the agreement struck by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Airbnb – Senators clinch deal on T stimulus package White House, Senate reach deal on trillion stimulus package Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Trump hopes to reopen economy by Easter | GOP senators expect stimulus vote Wednesday | House Dems eye two more stimulus bills | Trump says he gets along ‘very well’ with Fauci MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNew York cuts subway, bus, commuter rail service amid ridership drop, worker shortage Senators pen op-ed calling for remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Pelosi suggests coronavirus stimulus deal is near, but timing unsure MORE (D-N.Y.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Airbnb – Senators clinch deal on T stimulus package White House, Senate reach deal on trillion stimulus package On The Money: Trump hopes to reopen economy by Easter | GOP senators expect stimulus vote on Wednesday | Democratic leaders forecast at least two more relief bills MORE would “incentivize” individuals not to return to work. 

 

“I plan to support this legislation tonight, but I do want to fix it first,” said Scott (S.C.). “The goal is simply to keep you whole while you’re unemployed because of COVID-19.” 

 

Sasse added that Congress should be “generous [but] we don’t want this piece of the bill to create an incentive for folks to stop working.” 

 

The GOP senators first raised concerns about the provision earlier Wednesday after they reportedly learned about the details of the increased unemployment benefits during a 92-minute conference call about the forthcoming bill. 

 

The unemployment provision includes four months of bolstered unemployment benefits, including increasing the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 for four months. 

 

But the GOP senators argued that the agreement, which they’ve called a “drafting error,” could prompt individuals who earn less while working compared to the unemployment benefits to quit their jobs or not return to work.

 

“Something hit me like a ton of bricks … Under this bill you get $23.15 an hour based on a 40-hour work week not to work,” Graham said from the Senate floor on Wednesday night. “We’ve created Pandora’s box for our economy.” 

They warned that they would slow down the stimulus package unless they got their amendment vote. Under the Senate’s rules, McConnell would need cooperation from every senator to speed up the stimulus package and pass it on Wednesday. 

 

But the group’s amendment got bipartisan pushback, making it unlikely to get it added to the bill. 

 

 

“The way you want to calculate it, we’re told cannot be done,” Durbin said. 

 

 

A Senate GOP aide also pushed back against the four senators, underscoring the divisions within the caucus, saying that “nothing in this bill incentivizes businesses to lay off employees; in fact, it’s just the opposite.”
 
“Each state has a different UI program, so the drafters opted for a temporary across-the-board UI boost of $600, which can deliver needed aid in a timely manner rather than burning time to create a different administrative regime for each state,” the aide said. “It’s also important to remember that nobody who voluntarily leaves an available job is eligible for UI.”



ABC Finance News

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.