Blackburn: Senate should replace $600 federal unemployment benefit with payroll tax holiday

Tennessee Republicans says there is still 'talk' among Senate GOP to end the $600 employment benefit in next stimulus proposal rather than reduce it

Updated: July 29, 2020 - 9:20pm

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Sen. Marsha Blackburn on Monday told Just the News that there is still “talk” in the Senate Republican Conference about eliminating the $600 federal unemployment benefit “completely” but that she personally supports a payroll tax holiday in place of the unemployment benefit.

Senate Republican leadership is reportedly considering cutting the weekly federal jobless benefit to $400 or $200 as part of the next stimulus package. Blackburn was asked if she supports reducing the benefit, as Republican leaders of the GOP-controlled Senate prepare a bill to compete with the Democrat-measure that keeps the federal payments at $600 weekly.

“There is talk about eliminating it completely. There is still talk and conversation around the payroll tax holiday, which actually I think that is the preferred way to move forward," Blackburn said at Falkirk Center's Freedom Summit.

“Nancy Pelosi wants to just have it roll on – pay people more to stay home than work, which we're not going to do that. So we'll see where it's going to land," Blackburn continued. "But you know, if you want to incentivize people going back to work, exercise the payroll tax holiday, let them get that money in their paycheck."

In the past, Blackburn has said that China should forgive U.S. debt due to the economic damage COVID-19 has caused. 

Just the News asked Blackburn about the status of her proposal.

“We’ve continued to talk with the administration on this," she responded. "Of course, this is going to end up being a Treasury decision. But I've been very pleased with the fact that it has raised the awareness of the American public that China holds over a trillion dollars of U.S. traded debt, and that they have cost us $6 trillion in our response already to COVID-19. And that China needs to take some kind of course that will compensate us for that.

"So exactly how we're going to do it, how Treasury would structure a waiver or a payback facility, I don't know the specifics to that, but it's good to have it on the table as a point of discussion."


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