Washington Post

Washington Post 25 Mar 2020

Why these four Republicans oppose the Senate's coronavirus stimulus bill


On March 25, Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) warned that they would oppose fast-tracking the $2.2 trillion coronavirus bill over a proposed expansion in unemployment benefits, which they said would incentivize people not to return to work.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer outlines Democrats' problems with the current coronavirus stimulus bill, and instead calls for a "workers first" proposal.
Congress failed on March 22 to pass a procedural vote on a coronavirus stimulus bill that aims to inject close to $1.8 trillion into the economy.
A vote to advance a massive coronavirus stimulus bill failed Sunday night in the Senate as negotiations so far had yet to produce a deal on the more than $1 trillion aid package. Mika Brzezinski has the latest updates.
President Trump will sign the historic $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill that was passed by unanimous consent in the House earlier today.

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-Our nation is built on the dignity of work.
What this bill does, without fixing it,
is it simply says you can earn more money
by being on unemployment
than you can while working.
That is an incentive that is perverse.
We cannot have intended to encourage people
not to work and make more money
than to go back to work and receive your normal pay.
-Under this bill, the $600 payment
on top of state benefits
actually allows people to have their income almost doubled
in certain circumstances.
And I want to help people.
I want to make sure that, if you lose your job,
that we cover your wages.
But under this bill, you get $23.15 an hour,
based on a 40-hour work week, not to work.
-This is a debate about whether or not
we're gonna let a poorly drafted bill
knock this nation still harder in the coming months
by unintentionally increasing unemployment.
That's what this debate is about.
So we want to do something really simple.
We want to fix what's broken here
by saying that unemployment insurance benefits
should be capped at 100%
of the pay you had before you were unemployed.
This isn't just about people who have already been made unemployed.
This is about people who are going to be made unemployed
in the coming weeks.
All this amendment says that we're voting on in a few minutes
is that we should cap the unemployment benefits
at 100% of the wages you were just receiving while working.
-Under this bill, as it's written now,
the government will pay many Americans more
to be on government assistance
than they would make if they were working at their regular jobs.
I support expanding the unemployment insurance program.
It's the best and quickest way to get money
to people that need it most.
But we should not create a system
where unemployment insurance benefits
are higher than a salary.
We cannot pay people more to not work than to work.
This is basic common sense.

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