U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson
Press Release

Johnson Discusses Coronavirus Relief on Squawk Box


By - Aug 6th, 2020 11:00 am

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joined CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Thursday to discuss ongoing coronavirus relief negotiations and the importance of Americans getting back to work.

Excerpts from the senator’s conversation are below and video from the interview can be found here.

“By the end of April we had already authorized at least $2.9 trillion. I had an oversight hearing last week and there’s disagreement. It might be as much as $3.6 trillion, which represents about 13.5 to almost 17% of last year’s GDP. Now employment’s down to about 10.5%. Recent economic forecasts show that we’ll probably have a GDP shrinkage this year of somewhere between 4.6 and 7%. So we have already authorized 13.5 to 17%, and we haven’t spent or obligated about 1.2 trillion of that. So I think my main point is we really ought to take a look at what we’ve already spent, what’s left over, what worked, what didn’t work. Let’s make some modifications, but let’s focus on targeting financial relief to the people and businesses that truly need it.”

“We’re past the worst part of this. Now we’re looking at coming out of a very severe recession, but it’s going to be kind of a normal type of recovery and the tools that we need to use really need to be focused on what we can do to grow our economy, how we can get people off the sidelines. You know, right now one of the mistakes we made is the $600 flat fee. That incentivized people to stay on the sidelines. I think the University of Chicago said 68% of people on unemployment made more on unemployment than working. CBO estimated it was about five out of six people. We have to end that very perverse incentive. We have to encourage people to get back into work while still providing financial support for those people that really need it.”

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