McCarthy: Biden 'out of touch' telling businesses to pay more to compete with jobless benefits

"I wish the president understood what it was like to own a small business," says the House GOP leader

Published: July 22, 2021 12:40pm

Updated: July 22, 2021 11:16pm

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday described President Biden as "out of touch" for telling a small business owners to pay more as a way to deal with the labor shortage.

McCarthy said small business owners are competing with the federal government that is paying pandemic unemployment bonuses – as much as $300 a week – on top of state jobless benefits.

"As I watched a clip from the president's town hall last night, I couldn't see a person more out of touch," McCarthy said during his weekly Capitol Hill news conference.

The California Republican mentioned that a restaurant owner asked Biden how he plans to incentivize people to come back to work during the CNN town hall event.

"What's the president's answer? Just pay more. I wish the president understood what it was like to own a small business," McCarthy said. "They're trying to survive today and that's the response they get."

He also said Biden's increased government spending during the pandemic is contributing to rising inflation. Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was passed in March of this year.

"Inflation is destroying Americans' ability to strengthen their financial security," he said. "What has he proposed? More spending. Not working together."

He lamented that Biden and the Democrats won't approve a bipartisan physical infrastructure plan unless it's tied to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill being crafted by Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders.

"If the president won't listen to us, the president won't listen to his own economic advisors back when he was vice president, I don't know who he will listen to; but American deserves more," he said. "Inflation is a tax on every American."

McCarthy continued, saying, "Republicans will continue to work to bring inflation down, secure our borders and stop crime in the streets." 

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