Thursday, March 26, 2020

'Massive drafting error' in coronavirus package could incentivize unemployment

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Four Senate Republicans opposed a speedy passage to the $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus package Wednesday, warning a “massive drafting error” in the bill could incentivize workers leaving their jobs.
Sens. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Rick Scott of Florida and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina argued that, as written, the bolstered unemployment program could provide more money than some workers earn in their paychecks.
“We cannot encourage people to make more money in unemployment than they do with employment,” Tim Scott said.
LINK: WSJ: Coronavirus Stimulus Package Hits Last-
Minute Snags
The $2 trillion deal includes $250 billion in a robust unemployment program — providing $600 per week, on top of additional gig-worker benefits, for four months.
“I just can’t imagine the effect in South Carolina and other places when you realize you’re getting $24 an hour on unemployment. So every employer in the state has to compete against a $24-an-hour minimum wage,” Mr. Graham said. “The most responsible thing is to fix this now.”
The unemployment program was one of Democrats’ top priorities in the five-day negotiation process.
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