Democratic Party of Wisconsin
Press Release

Rebecca Kleefisch and Legislative Republicans Call For Ripping Away Unemployment Benefits from Struggling Wisconsinites


By - May 18th, 2021 03:25 pm

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Republicans are continuing their push to reject federal unemployment benefits from struggling Wisconsin families as they try to recover from the pandemic. Today, in an ad through the 1848 Project, likely gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch advocated for ripping away unemployment benefits, and Republicans in the state legislature introduced a bill to reject the federal funds. Congressional Republicans, including Ron Johnson and Mike Gallagher, have also been pushing for this disastrous policy even though it could slow down our state’s recovery.

Rejecting federal funds for those who need it is reckless. Reports show the $300 unemployment benefit is helping America recover faster than other countries. And the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics called ending the aid a “mistake” that “would obviously hurt people” who really need the money but would only motivate a few people to go back to work. Other economists agree factors like child care, job safety, and access to affordable health care play a major role in getting people back to work.

Just recently, Wisconsin business owners from across the state spoke out about how child care, not unemployment benefits, is a major obstacle to hiring. Labor force participation among women has drastically declined during the pandemic and is complicating the nation’s recovery. That’s why Gov. Evers is working to expand child care and support K-12 education. Meanwhile, Kleefisch is advocating for further privatizing education, diverting resources from Wisconsin’s public schools – just as Scott Walker did when Kleefisch served as lieutenant governor.

Republicans have repeatedly stood in the way of relief for Wisconsinites. At the height of the pandemic, Republicans refused to call a floor session for more than 300 days despite Democratic calls for additional relief for families and small businesses. And recently, Republicans completely gutted the governor’s Badger Bounceback budget, including measures to expand Medicaid and invest in broadband and infrastructure.

“Once again, Rebecca Kleefisch and Wisconsin Republicans are advocating ripping away benefits from hardworking families and slowing down our state’s economic recovery,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Kayla Anderson. “Economists, industry leaders, and business owners alike agree that child care and health care are huge drivers in getting people back to work, and that rejecting the federal unemployment benefit is a mistake. Kleefisch is already reminding voters why they kicked the Walker-Kleefisch administration out of office. If Republicans in the legislature are concerned about the state’s economic recovery, they can pass the Badger Bounceback budget instead of playing political games.”

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