Lindsey Graham and Others Call for a Halt to the Stimulus Bill: The Current Text 'Incentivizes Layoffs'

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. President Donald Trump’s legal team prepared to wrap up arguments in his impeachment trial Tuesday as Senate Republicans wrestled with whether to allow witnesses, including John Bolton who appeared ready to contradict a key Trump claim. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)




So how’s that $2 trillion stimulus bill going?

According to GOP Senators Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott, and Ben Sasse, there’s a problem.

It was agreed upon between Trump and leaders in the upper chamber around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

But the trio have called for a pressing of Pause: As reported to NBC News, there’s been a “massive drafting error.”

And that ball-drop could possibly result in big-time layoffs.

The congressmen from South Carolina (Lindsey, Tim) and Nebraska explained via a joint statement:

“A massive drafting error in the current version of the coronavirus relief legislation could have devastating consequences: Unless this bill is fixed, there is a strong incentive for employees to be laid off instead of going to work.”

One good thing about conservatism is that it heavily considers incentives. And in this case, the stakes are especially high:

“If the federal government accidentally incentivizes layoffs, we risk life-threatening shortages in sectors where doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are trying to care for the sick, and where growers and grocers, truckers and cooks are trying to get food to families’ tables.”

According to the statement, Graham, Scott, and Sasse will oppose the legislation until the text is fixed:


“We must sadly oppose the fast-tracking of this bill until this text is addressed, or the Department of Labor issues regulatory guidance that no American would earn more by not working than by working.”

As covered by Fox News, during an afternoon press conference, Lindsey gave an example of how the legislation could have detrimental consequences:

“Under this proposal that they agreed to last night, on unemployment, you would be making $24.07 an hour in South Carolina. There are a lot of jobs in South Carolina that do not pay $24.07.”

“My goal,” he said, “was to add some federal dollars to the pot, to get you back to what you were making with a cap of $600.”

Bottom line:

“This bill pays you more not to work than if you were working.”

That is indeed a big problem.

As for it being an error of the drafting sort, the alternative is worse:

“If this is not a drafting error, then it’s the worst idea I’ve seen in a long time.”

He continued:

“And that’s saying a lot given that we’re in Washington.”

It sure is.

Will the text get changed? The Daily Wire notes that it’s uncertain:

The Washington Post reports that it’s possible the Senate leadership will not authorize changes to the text of the bill, as many people saw the deal “as a compromise to win Democratic support.” It’s currently unclear whether the wording of the text is a drafting error or represents a deliberate policy choice.


Currently, as covered by RedState’s Jennifer Van Laar, the bill represents the largest stimulus ever proposed.

Here’s a bit of description, courtesy of The Associated Press:

It includes $300 billion for small businesses, $150 billion for local and state governments and $130 billion for hospitals, according to those involved in the negotiations.

The latest $2 trillion stimulus bill is expected to include direct payments of $1,200 or less to most adults, loans to businesses and an expansion of unemployment insurance and other aspects of the social safety net.

Just when you thought it was all done in the Senate, there’s more to be done after all.

But at least they’re trying to get it done right.

What are your thoughts on the bill? Let us all know in the Comments section.

If they can’t get it figured out, of course, there’s always Nancy Pelosi’s offer — and what’s more important during a pandemic than giving $35 million to the Kennedy Center?





See 3 more pieces from me:

Pelosi Reacts to Trump’s Hope of Reopening the Country Like a Petulant Child: ‘I Don’t Care! I Don’t Care! I Don’t Care!’

Absolutely Hilarious: After Sports Are Canceled, a Professional Commentator Takes to Narrating Mundane Daily Life for Your Pleasure

Teachers Blast De Blasio for Defying New York’s Directive to Close Infected Schools: ‘The Blood is On Their Hands’

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