The COVID-19 pandemic has been a public health disaster with more than 130,000 dead. It has also been an economic disaster as millions of Americans have become unemployed through no fault of their own.
The United States chose to expand unemployment benefits in an effort to keep its citizens from losing their homes and businesses. Those benefits, however, are set to expire at the end of July. While some lawmakers have discussed extending the payments, Texas senator John Cornyn says they were always a mistake.
The Texas Republican had praised the benefits in March saying they, “will help cover their rent, groceries, electric bills, and other expenses until they can make other arrangements, like apply for unemployment insurance under our beefed up provisions.”
But now Cornyn is upset that some people actually made more with the boost than they did while working. He said on Friday:
“This is one area where we found that we did make a mistake. Because we actually added a $600 a week benefit from the federal government. And some people, we found out, in some wage brackets, were actually making more money not to work than to work. So that expires in July and we’re not going to do that again.”
Over 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic began. Close to 5 million returned to work in the month of June. With cases booming in many areas in the country, though, the unemployment numbers may soon rise again.
Watch a clip of Cornyn’s comments below:
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.