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FACT CHECK: President Biden Makes It Easy to Turn Down Jobs and Still Get Unemployment Benefits

May 13, 2021

After a dismal April jobs report, Democrats are trying to find ways to downplay the negative impacts of paying people more to stay home than return to the workforce. Even former Obama-Biden economic adviser Jason Furman admitted that the unemployment bonus played a real role.

Sadly, President Biden is simply doubling down on misleading the American people.

The Claim: On Monday, President Biden said they don’t see evidence that enhanced unemployment benefits are driving people to stay home but, “We’re going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits.”

Why this is false: 

  • Biden Rule Allows Workers to Turn Down Jobs, Receive Benefits: The President issued an executive order in January that directed the Department of Labor to allow workers who refuse a job to still receive unemployment insurance under a broad set of vague conditions.
  • Biden’s Labor Department OK’s Benefits — Even When States Denied Them for Turning Down Jobs: In February, President Biden’s Labor Department issued guidance telling states that workers receiving unemployment benefits are still eligible for federal pandemic unemployment assistance, even after they had their state regular unemployment benefits’ claims denied after they refused to work or accept an offer of work at a worksite.
  • Record 8.1 Million Job Openings Show Employers Struggling to Hire: Report after report show historically high job openings as employers of all kinds can’t fill positions.

What we’re doing about it:

  • Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Senate Finance Committee Republican Leader Mike Crapo (R-ID) have offered a Return to Work Bonus that will encourage Americans to return to work.
    • The bill also includes a provision to reinstate the work search requirement for unemployment benefits. More than 30 states continue to waive work search requirements using flexibility provided at the beginning of the pandemic.
  • A growing number of states are now turning down federal funding on unemployment insurance in order to get people back to work.
  • Earlier this year, Republicans held a special meeting with Main Street businesses who have made it clear that paying people to stay at home is crushing their ability to serve their communities.