GOP Senators: Coronavirus spending bill a “strong incentive for employees to be laid off instead of going to work”

A handful of Republican senators on Wednesday threatened to delay the $2 trillion coronavirus spending bill over a proposed increase to unemployment insurance.

n a statement, Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said that the bill could provide a “strong incentive for employees to be laid off instead of going to work” because some people could theoretically make more by being unemployed.

“This isn’t an abstract, philosophical point — it’s an immediate, real-world problem,” they continued. “If the federal government accidentally incentivizes layoffs, we risk life-threatening shortages in sectors where doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are trying to care for the sick, and where growers and grocers, truckers and cooks are trying to get food to families’ tables.”

They added, “We must sadly oppose the fast-tracking of this bill until this text is addressed, or the Department of Labor issues regulatory guidance that no American would earn more by not working than by working.”

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