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GOP Letter Spurs More State Rejections of Federal Unemployment Benefits

May 24, 2021

Following a letter sent by Republican leaders urging America’s governors to reconnect unemployed workers with job openings, eight more states have acknowledged the harm of Democrats’ war on work by opting out of federal unemployment benefits.


Twenty-two states and counting have now cut off Democrats’ expanded unemployment benefits that are crushing Main Street’s hiring efforts and sabotaging our jobs recovery.


In the letter, top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) joined House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Republican Leader of the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) in highlighting the harm that federal unemployment benefits are having on local job creators’ ability to hire.



  • Since Republicans’ letter was sent in mid-May, Texas, Indiana, Alaska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia have joined the growing list of states dropping out of federal pandemic unemployment benefits.
  • Employers can’t compete with Democrats’ unemployment benefits. Despite a record 8.1 million job openings and April’s devastating jobs report, businesses are practically begging people to return to the workforce.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined businesses and governors in the call for states to end Democrats’ devastating pandemic unemployment with hopes of bringing people back to work.
  • Rep. Brady’s Return to Work Bonus proposal and its Senate companion, introduced by Senate Finance Committee Republican Leader Mike Crapo (R-ID), encourage Americans to return to work and help Main Street businesses by providing time limited back-to-work bonuses and reinstating job search requirements.