On Wednesday Republican Senators Tim Scott, Ben Sasse and Lindsey Graham issued a statement demanding the need to fix a ‘drafting error’ in the coronavirus emergency legislation. The Senators noted that the legislation, as is, would incentivize layoffs across the nation and would risk life-threatening consequences to critical industries.
“A massive drafting error in the current version of the coronavirus legislation could have devastating consequences: Unless this bill is fixed, there is a strong incentive for employees to be laid off instead of going to work,” the statement from the Senators read.
The Senators stressed: “If the federal government 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. This isn’t who we are as Americans; this isn’t what we do in a crisis. 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.”
At a press conference on Wednesday Graham, R-SC, said “I think we’ve done absolutely the worst thing we could do to stabilize the economy, we’ve incentivized people not to go back to work.”
“We’ll know in about an hour if this really is a drafting error,” said Graham. “This bill pays you more not to work than to work.” It pays an unemployment wage of $24.00 an hour, so many people who make less will make more collecting unemployment then going back to work in essential jobs, Graham argued.
Watch the press conference live below.
2:00 PM Press Conference
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 25, 2020
As is, the current Senate bill, would send $1,200 checks to many Americans and create a $367 billion loan program for small businesses. It would also establish a $500 billion lending fund for industries, cities and states, according to the bill. The bill also allows Cargo airlines and suppliers to qualify for the incentives under a different set of funding measures.
Moreover, it includes $150 billion for state and local emergency aid, as well as $130 billion for hospitals.