Schumer: Idea that $600 unemployment benefit keeps workers away from jobs 'belittles the American people'

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture How to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs MORE (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that the idea that the now-expired $600-per-week enhanced unemployment benefit disincentivizes workers from returning to jobs "belittles the American people."

"Americans want to work, but with 10, 11 percent unemployment, you can't find a job, and people shouldn't be given a pay cut," he said on ABC's "This Week."


President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE and a number of Republicans, including Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE, who has been a key negotiator on coronavirus relief legislation, have argued that the extra $600 benefit, while necessary at the beginning of the pandemic, had become an incentive for Americans to stay home rather than return to work. 

One of the coronavirus executive orders signed by Trump on Saturday reduces the temporary benefit to an extra $400 per week, with states on the hook to pay $100 of that amount, through the end of the year.

Schumer on Sunday slammed the order as "an unworkable plan."

"Most states will take months to implement it because it's brand new. It's sort of put together with spit and paste, and many states, because they have to chip in $100 and they don't have money, won't do it," Schumer said. "To boot, it depletes the hurricane trust fund to defer this money, to pay for this money, when we're at the height of hurricane season."

Schumer echoed his previous statement in calling all four executive orders "unworkable, weak and far too narrow."

"The event at the country club is just what Trump does, a big show, but it doesn't do anything," he added.

The other three orders Trump signed at his country club in Bedminster, N.J., include payroll tax and student loan payment deferrals and aim to prevent evictions, though they do not explicitly halt them.

"As the American people look at these executive orders, they'll see they don't come close to doing the job," Schumer said Sunday.