The U.S. Chamber of Congress, the world’s largest pro-business trade association, is calling on the president to end the $300-a-week supplemental unemployment aid, saying that the anemic jobs numbers released on Friday are due to the disincentive to work given to the unemployed in the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill signed in March.
“The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market,” said Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer. “We need a comprehensive approach to dealing with our workforce issues and the very real threat unfilled positions poses to our economic recovery from the pandemic.”
Good for the Chamber of Commerce! We could congratulate them on their strong advocacy for the taxpayer except for one thing: every single Democrat endorsed and supported by the Chamber of Commerce in 2020 voted for that $300-a-week benefit.
The $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” passed the House on a narrow 219-212 vote in February. Of the 23 House Democrats endorsed by the U.S. Chamber during the 2020 election cycle, 15 won re-election. All 15 of these Democrats voted to pass the American Rescue Plan which extended the Biden Bucks program through Labor Day.
The U.S. Chamber’s endorsement of 23 House Democrats was a notable increase compared to prior years. During the 2018 cycle, the Chamber reportedly endorsed only 7 House Democrats. According to the U.S. Chamber’s own assessment of its impact on the 2020 House elections, the “U.S. Chamber endorsements are known to have a big impact and that rang true in 2020.”
It raises a legitimate question. Just what did those buffoons at the Chamber of Commerce think was going to happen? Did they believe that these Democrats were all going to switch parties and suddenly morph into being Republicans? Do they believe in the tooth fairy?
South Carolina is the latest state to drop the $300-a-week unemployment bonus citing the number of jobs that are going unfilled because workers are sitting at home.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced Thursday the state would stop participating at the end of June in the federal government’s supplemental unemployment benefits program, which provides an extra $300 a week to the jobless, as many Republican officials are claiming the payments disincentivize workers to get back on the job.
McMaster said Thursday he made the decision “to address ongoing workforce shortages throughout South Carolina.”
On Wednesday, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) said he would withdraw from the program by June 27, also claiming his state was being plagued by a labor shortage.
Montana will instead offer a one-time $1,200 bonus for returning to work, Gianforte said.
The Chamber of Commerce, once a pillar of Republicanism and a strong ally for pro-business interests, tried to play both ends against the middle — and ended up getting squashed.