‘Workers Need Help’: Josh Hawley Urges Congress to Pass Bill to Protect American Jobs

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks with reporters in Washington, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) urged Congress on Friday to pass a jobs bill to support businesses to rehire Americans that have been laid off and support payrolls to protect American jobs.

“Jobless numbers soar to century-long high,” Hawley wrote on Friday. “I urge Congress to take up jobs legislation now along the lines I have proposed: support for business to rehire all workers laid off and support for payrolls to protect jobs through this crisis. Workers need help now.”

Hawley’s comment follows as the American economy lost over 20 million jobs in April, and the American unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent. This surpasses the 2008 Great Recession.

Hawley proposed his phase four coronavirus bill in April, which would put Americans back to work and bring back American manufacturing.

Hawley’s proposal would offer immediate payroll support for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak by:

  • Issuing a refundable payroll tax rebate covering 80 percent of the employer payroll costs applicable to median wages. This includes rehired workers.
  • Provide a “back to work” business reinvestment credit to cover the costs of any investment necessary to revive the businesses that suffered from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hawley wrote in his proposal:

As layoffs mount, the time has come for bold action by the federal government to halt the damage to American workers and position the American economy for a comeback once the nation has defeated COVID19. This effort should include a major initiative to rehire workers now—and to keep them on payroll for the duration of this crisis. And it should include new measures to bring critical supply chains back to this country from China and elsewhere and to encourage domestic production.

The rationale is simple. Workers should not be forced into unemployment because of the government’s health measures prompted by this crisis. Workers should be able to keep their jobs, and be ready to get back to work as soon as practicable.

Art Laffer, a member of President Donald Trump’s economic recovery task force and former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan, endorsed Hawley’s plan to rehire American workers.

Laffer and Jon Hartley wrote in April:

Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has now proposed a payroll tax rebate that covers 80 percent of payroll expenses while Canada and the UK are now implementing wage subsidies where employees receive 75 percent and 80 percent of their paycheck respectively albeit in the form of tax credits. A recurring biweekly payroll subsidy (rather than a one-time tax credit) would be faster and likely help boost spending because of what behavioral economists call “mental accounting,” that is people are more likely to spend something that they see as a permanent income boost to their income.

“The moment for action is now,” Hawley concluded in his proposal. “It’s time to end the partisan bickering over special interest giveaways and ideological wish lists. There can be only one priority now: facilitating the American comeback.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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