WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today joined Newsmax to discuss how enhanced unemployment benefits are making it difficult for businesses to hire workers and how legislation she introduced with Ways and Means Committee Republican Leader Kevin Brady would get Americans back into the workforce by turning the extra payments into return-to-work bonuses.
“One of the things I hear every time I go back home is this unemployment issue,” Congresswoman Walorski said in an interview on Newsmax’s Wake Up America. “I’ve got companies that have signs in every single window as you drive through the highways and the roads and streets in my district. They can’t hire. They can’t even get people to respond to an interview, because in Indiana with the unemployment [benefit] rate being $400 a week plus the supplemental unemployment at another $300 a week – $700 per week, $2800 a month – they’re not going to work. Our unemployment rate is below 4 percent. And if there’s anything to get people out of the house and back to work, that’s the only thing that will spur this economy.”
You can watch the full interview here.
As the top Republican on the Worker and Family Support Subcommittee, Walorski recently hosted a roundtable discussion with Main Street job creators on challenges they face in hiring the workers they need. The South Bend Tribune last week reported local business owners are “competing against enhanced unemployment benefits and other programs that were established to help people during the height of the pandemic. And they’re worried that a robust recovery could be hampered by a shortage of workers.”
The $1.9 trillion spending bill Democrats passed into law extended supplemental unemployment benefits of $300 per week until September 6th. The American Action Forum estimates nearly 40 percent of workers could make more on unemployment at this level than they would earn by returning to work.
Walorski, Brady, and 13 other Republicans introduced the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2021, which would allow states to turn enhanced unemployment benefits into a one-time return-to-work bonus of either $1,200 or $600. It would also provide support for reemployment services for laid-off workers and reinstate the federal requirement that those receiving unemployment be engaged in actively searching for a job.
Learn more about the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act here.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.