May 10, 2021
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, who has called for converting expanded federal unemployment payments into signing bonuses, issued the following statement after President Biden promised to go after individuals who "game the [unemployment insurance] system" to get paid not to work.
“President Biden is all over the place on unemployment insurance — he wants to go after folks who are gaming the system, but he’s denying the reality that his policies are making the situation worse so he's trying to make struggling businesses the boogeymen. Here’s the deal: bad federal policy is making unemployment pay more than work and millions of jobs aren’t getting filled. President Biden and his party were warned this would happen but they doubled down on bad policy. Instead of making unemployment pay more than work, we ought to convert the emergency unemployment payments into signing bonuses. Cut the spin, convert unemployment into a signing bonus, and get America and Americans up and running.”
Too often, the current expanded pandemic unemployment insurance pays more than work, creating a roadblock to American recovery.
This week, Sasse will introduce the National Signing Bonus Act, legislation to convert UI’s expanded benefit into a two-month bonus for anyone who gets a job.
Last year, Senator Sasse introduced legislation that would have fixed the coronavirus emergency relief law’s perverse incentive to increase unemployment by capping unemployment benefits at full pay. Senate Democrats rejected the proposal.