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Durbin blasts Trump's 'country-club fix' on unemployment

Durbin blasts Trump's 'country-club fix' on unemployment
© Bonnie Cash

Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Sweeping election reform bill faces Senate buzz saw Police reform talks hit familiar stumbling block MORE (D-Ill.) on Sunday called the unemployment benefits included in President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE's  coronavirus executive actions an insufficient “country club fix,” but said challenging the order's legality in court was a “moral dilemma.” 

“This is a moral dilemma, we want unemployed people to receive benefits, we never wanted them cut off at all, I’m not going to suggest we run out to court at this point,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” although he conceded “some will” favor legal action.

At the same time, Durbin blasted the executive action for only providing an additional $400 rather than the expired $600 benefit.

“This country-club fix suggested by the president is going to be a cut in the unemployment benefits for 30 million Americans,” Durbin said. The Illinois senator said the unemployment conversation has occurred in the shadow of what he called an “urban legend” that people receiving benefits are choosing not to work.

"These people are not lazy people. We have five unemployed Americans for every available job. This urban legend, which I say is an urban lie, about people sitting at home, binging on Netflix and eating chocolate-covered cherries. Listen, I’ve met with these families, they are desperate to get back to work,” he said.

Durbin also criticized the previous segment’s guest, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, for claiming congressional Democrats are refusing to compromise in the ongoing talks.

“We were at $3.4 trillion in the bill that [Speaker] Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiIncreasingly active younger voters liberalize US electorate Sunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE [D-Calif.] and the House Democrats passed 12 weeks ago. And now we’ve come down to the range of $2 trillion. They were at $1 trillion, we asked them to come up $1 trillion,” Durbin said. “We are ready to meet the White House and Republicans halfway. We’ve said that from the start. We have priorities that may be different from theirs, but in terms of dollar amount, we are exactly where Mr. Navarro has suggested.”