Treasury Secretary says 'you shouldn't be paid more to stay home than to work'

Steve Mnuchin opposes extending the $600 per week federal unemployment benefit, and prefers paying a percentage of lost wages

Updated: July 27, 2020 - 9:42am

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during an interview on "Fox News Sunday" said he opposed extending the $600 per week federal unemployment benefits that were approved in earlier coronavirus-related legislation.

In the earlier legislation, the $600 federal payout was allotted in addition to state benefits. 

The treasury secretary described it as unfair to spend taxpayer funds for someone to earn more money by not working than they would if they had a job.

"As it relates to the unemployment insurance, again, I think workers and Americans understand the concept that you shouldn't be paid more to stay home than to work," Mnuchin told Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace.

"We want to have something which pays people about 70 percent wage replacement, which I think is a very fair level," Mnuchin said. "So it's not a fixed number, it's something that pays you a percentage of your wages that are lost."

According to Johns Hopkins University there have been more than 4.19 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 146,000 deaths.


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