U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, has written to House and Senate leadership to express concerns about extending the $600 supplemental unemployment insurance offered under the CARES Act, the federal legislation offering coronavirus relief funding.
In the letter from Collins and several other members of Congress, the legislators said they were concerned about the impact on the businesses.
“At this critical point in reopening, our economy and our business owners cannot afford to have their employees earning a substantial income from their fellow taxpayers,” the letter states. “Small businesses receiving loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are especially harmed if they cannot provide competitive wages and persuade their employees to return to work within the allotted time frame for PPP forgiveness.”
The $600 supplements are provided to people eligible for state and federal unemployment programs, and the payments are in addition to state unemployment benefits. In the letter, the members of Congress ask that the supplements expire at the end of July as first approved in the CARES Act.
“The supplemental (unemployment insurance) was intended to be a lifeline for those whose employer was unable to retain them, not set individuals on a path to continued reliance on government assistance,” the letter states. “If these benefits are extended, it would only reinforce and deepen the structural issues and rampant abuse of our public assistance programs that existed prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”