WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Committee on Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY), House Committee on Education and Labor Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and House Committee on the Budget Ranking Member Jason Smith (R-MO) wrote National Economic Council Director Brian Deese pushing the Biden Administration to empower and encourage the American people to get back to work. Continuing extra unemployment benefits and public school closures is stalling millions of Americans from returning to work.
“Enhanced unemployment benefits and public school closures in certain states are weighing down an American economy trying to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is past time for Americans to get back to normal,” wrote the Republican leaders. They continued, “Operation Warp Speed (OWS) developed successful vaccines, encouraging governments to reopen businesses, and allowing Americans to safely return to work. Rather than champion OWS’s amazing results, Democrats are proposing to permanently extend these enhanced benefits with a corresponding tax hike. This would have a devastating effect on our economy, which is already struggling with government-induced inflation.”
Despite 9.3 million job openings in April, the U.S. labor market only added 266,000 jobs—substantially below the 1 million jobs economists estimated. May jobs report was similarly disappointing with only 559,000 jobs added—nearly 100,000 fewer than expected. Due to enhanced unemployment benefits, about 40% of those unemployed now earn more staying at home than working, causing severe labor shortages across the country and impacting numerous industries, including hospitality, retail, construction, and manufacturing. Republican governors in 25 states have elected to opt out of the enhanced unemployment benefit programs.
In their letter, the Republican leaders request documents and information related to the stay-at-home bonus as well as those pertaining to reopening America’s public schools.
The full letter is available here.