U.S. Chamber Commends Senators Collins, McSally, and Romney’s New Legislation on Unemployment Benefits

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 12:00pm

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley today issued the following statement on new bipartisan legislation in the Senate on unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

“This legislation strikes a sensible balance of maintaining vital income support during the pandemic while avoiding disincentives for returning to work. The U.S. Chamber commends Senators Collins, McSally, and Romney for their efforts on this pressing issue and urges Senate leaders to give this reasonable proposal bipartisan support.”

“This is the progress we need to enact comprehensive legislation that will provide targeted and temporary assistance to unemployed Americans, employers, and state and local governments, and liability protections for businesses who follow public health guidelines. We strongly urge Republicans and Democrats to come together now and enact the relief American workers, families, and employers need.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommended a targeted replacement between 80% and 90% of an individual’s working wages and a supplement cap of $400, or if a state cannot conduct the individual calculations, each recipient in that state will receive a flat $200 supplement.

This legislation would avoid disruption to UI benefits by allowing states to choose between two options: 

  • Immediate 80% wage replacement, or 
  • $500 per week in August, $400 per week in September, or $300 per week in October

It also provides states with an additional $2 billion to update their UI systems. 

Click here to read full bill text. 

The Chamber also released a  new interactive map and   50-state table that compares the impact on each state of the various Phase IV federal unemployment assistance proposals to the U.S. Chamber’s proposal. The map will soon be updated to show what this compromise proposal would mean for unemployed Americans in every state.