Democratic Party of Wisconsin
Press Release

Wisconsin Republicans Who Voted Against Aid For Constituents Now Call For Cutting Unemployment Benefits Too

 

By - May 14th, 2021 05:42 pm

MADISON, Wis. — After voting against federal aid, stimulus checks, and more money for vaccines, Republicans have found another way to attack struggling families. Wisconsin Republicans, led by Senator Ron Johnson, called today to end additional federal unemployment benefits to Americans who lost their jobs over the course of this tough year.

All five of Wisconsin’s Republican Congressional representatives signed on, including Mike Gallagher, who has really leaned into the extreme wing of his party this week. Also advocating for the end of unemployment benefits was likely gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch.

“This is just the latest example of Wisconsin Republicans playing politics with people’s lives and livelihoods. If Wisconsin Republicans did their homework, they’d learn this is a reckless policy that would only hurt struggling people and further slow our economic recovery,“ said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Nellie Sires. “Economists, industry leaders, and business owners alike agree that child care and health care are huge drivers in getting people back to work. The added unemployment benefit is helping our recovery, not hurting it, and cutting it before the deadline would be a massive mistake. “

Rejecting federal funds for those who need it is a reckless government policy. 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.

Melissa Buchholz, co-owner of Milwaukee restaurant Odd Duck, said, “People who haven’t made money in a year, who have been on unemployment, regardless of that extra unemployment, they’re not making enough to think about the future and to think about having to pay child care.” That’s why Gov. Evers is working to expand child care and support K-12 education.

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 other factors like child care, job safety, and access to affordable health care play a major role in getting people back to work. In fact, reports show the $300 unemployment benefit is helping America recover faster than other countries.

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