Conservative Marc Thiessen has published a column arguing that Democrats’ week-long delay of the coronavirus emergency relief bill cost the U.S. economy millions of jobs.
Thiessen, writing in the Washington Post, points out that during the week from March 23 to 27, when Democrats filibustered the relief bill, 6.6 million new jobless claims were filed.
The bill was supposed to pass the Senate on March 23, after bipartisan negotiations that were almost complete by March 22. But Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), jetting in from San Francisco, objected to the deal — and introduced her own bill.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) then obliged Pelosi by filibustering the relief bill in the Senate.
Pelosi’s bill included demands for nationwide “ballot harvesting”; new emissions standards for airlines; money for Planned Parenthood; solar and wind energy tax credits; and other giveaways to Democrats’ favored special interest groups.
The Trump administration had been pushing Congress for a relief package since President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office on March 11. The additional delays meant more businesses shut down or laid off workers.
Had Senate Democrats not filibustered the bill, the program would have been in place a week sooner. On March 26 we learned that a record 3.28 million Americans had filed for unemployment insurance the week before. That record was quickly shattered when we found out an additional 6.6 million joined the unemployment rolls the week Democrats were filibustering — for a total of nearly 10 million. Every day, every hour that Congress delayed, more businesses shut their doors, and more Americans lost their jobs.
Thiessen adds that the new version of the bill also included unemployment benefits so generous that they discourage workers from seeking new jobs — and create a perverse incentive for business owners to lay off employees:
Not only did Democrats delay the bill, but they also used that delay as leverage to make unemployment benefits so generous that in many cases unemployment is now more attractive than a paycheck. The bill increases unemployment benefits by $600 per week for four months — twice as long as the two months the Paycheck Protection Program benefits are supposed to last. Depending on which state workers are in, this is the equivalent of $15 to $35 an hour for not working.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.