Politics GOP governors slash unemployment benefits to help businesses hire back workers
Immigrant workers are essential to America's future — and we need a new paradigm for justice
Beyond a pathway to citizenship: True justice for immigrants will help everyone, and build a better country Jose Ortiz receives a one-shot dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic geared toward agriculture workers organized by the immigrant advocacy group TODEC on April 5, 2021, in Riverside, California.
Republican governors across the country are looking to slash additional coronavirus-related jobless benefits in an effort to spur job creation.
“We absolutely can put more people to work,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisduring a press conference last week.
The Republican governor announced that individuals who continue to collect unemployment benefits will soon have to provide proof that they are looking for a job.
"Normally when you’re getting unemployment, the whole idea is that’s temporary, and you need to be looking for work to be able to get off unemployment," DeSantis added. "It was a disaster, so we suspended those job search requirements. I think it’s pretty clear now, we have an abundance of job openings."
Progressives Blast GOP Calls to End $300 Weekly Unemployment: 'Greed Has No Bounds'
"Raise your wages. Pay decent benefits," Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted, describing it as a "simple solution."GOP lawmakers and the Chamber of Congress, a pro-business lobby group that generally backs Republican candidates, blamed extra federal unemployment payments approved by Congress in the American Rescue Plan for the significantly less than expected job growth in April. The Department of Labor released the April jobs report on Friday, showing that the economy added just 266,000 jobs last month despite predictions that it would be closer to 1 million.
DeSantis said his state would soon follow similar efforts in.
“The demand is there. Businesses want to hire more people, and I think we can go in that direction very soon," he concluded.
The move by governors to end the extra $300 in weekly payments for unemployed workers, even as the Biden administration looks to keep them in place, comes as the April jobs report showed less-than-expected growth.
“More states are expected to follow,” Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady said last week, saying the Biden administration was “in denial” about the effects of keeping the unemployment benefits.
Conversely, Democratic lawmakers are criticizing the Republican governors slashing the weekly payments.
Spencer Cox, Utah GOP governor, defends Republicans' push to end enhanced unemployment
Utah GOP Gov. Spencer Cox on Sunday defended Republicans' push to end enhanced unemployment, saying that although some families continue to struggle amid the pandemic's economic fallout, the benefit must be rolled back "at some point."Citing the state's low unemployment rate, Cox told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" that the biggest problem in Utah is finding workers for unfilled jobs, and claimed officials have found that the federal jobless benefits, including the $300 weekly boost meant to help people out of work amid the coronavirus pandemic "is a disincentive.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden called the governors’ decisions “deeply disturbing” and said they “could cause tremendous financial pain and sabotage our economic recovery.”
Businesses and organizations have also called on Biden to discontinue the benefits, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market," it said on Friday.
The status quo "results in approximately one in four recipients taking home more in unemployment than they earned working," the Chamber added.
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Ohio, Georgia join growing list of GOP-led states opting out of federal unemployment benefits .
As of May 13, more than a dozen Republican governors have halted the program offering an extra $300 a week."To build on our momentum, accelerate a full economic recovery, and get more Georgians back to work in good-paying jobs, our state will end its participation in the federal Covid-19 unemployment programs, effective June 26th," Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement, citing a workforce shortage. "As we emerge from this pandemic, Georgians deserve to get back to normal – and today’s announced economic recovery plan will help more employees and businesses across our state do so.