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Sasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) is planning to introduce legislation that will give new hires signing bonuses following Friday’s disappointing jobs report.

Sasse said in an emailed press release that he is introducing the National Signing Bonus Act, which would redirect expanded unemployment insurance into signing bonus payments.

The move comes amid GOP scrutiny of expanded pandemic unemployment benefits after Friday’s job report, which fell far below expectations for the month of April.

“The emergency UI program is now penalizing people for going back to work. Now, as millions of Americans are vaccinated each day, we’ve got crummy job numbers,” Sasse said in his statement. “We’ve got to get America and Americans up and running.”   

Individuals who get a job by July 4 would get a bonus equal to “101 percent” of two months of the federal unemployment benefits.

The Department of Labor on Friday issued a report showing that the U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs last month, and that unemployment rose 6.1 percent. The numbers were far below the 1 million jobs that economists were expecting the U.S. to add.

Republicans blamed the poor showing on a provision of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief law that extended enhanced $300-per-week unemployment benefits through September.

The GOP has argued that the enhanced benefit discourages people from returning to work because in some states, the unemployment insurance pays more than than minimum wage.

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said Friday that he would introduce a bill to phase out the weekly boost by the end of the month.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) have announced that their states will stop participating in pandemic-related unemployment benefits at the end of June, the first two states to make such moves.

Tags April jobs report Ben Sasse Coronavirus COVID-19 Greg Gianforte Jobs report Joe Biden Nebraska Roger Marshall Unemployment

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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