A disappointing April jobs report following months of reported hiring struggles among businesses is fueling a Republican push to end enhanced unemployment aid programs extended by President Biden in March.
GOP governors and lawmakers are taking steps to scrap a $300 weekly boost to jobless benefits and other programs created at the onset of the pandemic that expanded aid to millions of unemployed Americans.
Republicans, who have long been critical of generous jobless benefits, are seizing on April’s lackluster employment gain as proof that pandemic-related programs are hindering what should be a booming recovery.
Sen. oger Marshall (R-Kan.) said Friday he will introduce a bill to phase out the $300 weekly boost, set to expire in September, by the end of the month. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also called for the end of the $300 supplement in light of the jobs miss.
The Republican governors of Montana and South Carolina had already announced plans to end their states’ participation in pandemic jobless aid programs, and other GOP-controlled states are expected to follow suit.
“Even though President Biden inherited a strong economic recovery, it’s clear his job-killing policies are hurting working families and Main Street businesses,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Critics of enhanced unemployment aid have grown increasingly alarmed about its potential impact on the recovery after businesses across the country reported trouble hiring workers.
Economists, however, say it’s not that simple.
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