U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.)

While negotiations for another COVID relief package on Capitol Hill seem to have hit a roadblock over the amount of enhanced unemployment insurance out-of-work Americans should get, U.S. Senator Tina Smith told the KMRS Community Connection that she fully supports maintaining the emergency levels at $600 per week. Smith said the hard reality is that there are four jobseekers for every open job out there, and she said the majority of people do not show a disincentive to return to the workforce because of the unemployment checks.

“There’s actually not a lot of evidence that people are not going to work,” Smith argued. “In fact, in May and June when we saw people returning to work,  70 percent of the people that returned to work actually they returned to a job that was paying them less than that enhanced unemployment benefit. But they still went back to work.”

Because no agreement has been reached on renewing the insurance, come this weekend the checks will be 60 percent less than they were before, Smith noted. The full interview with Senator Smith can be found on our website at kmrskkok.com, under the News tab in the Community Connection section.

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