U.S. Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) applauded the long-overdue vote this week to end unemployment payments to millionaires. The extension of unemployment benefits that the U.S. Senate passed included Udall and Coburn's bipartisan proposal to end wasteful unemployment payments to millionaires who need it least.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, millionaires claimed $90.6 million in unemployment benefits between 2009 and 2011.
"As Colorado and our nation recover from the recent recession, we need to have a serious discussion about reducing the federal budget deficit. Ending wasteful and unnecessary subsidies for the wealthiest among us is a bipartisan idea I have been proud to champion," Udall said. "I am glad my colleagues supported this common-sense and cost-cutting reform."
"The senate took two important steps this week to end welfare for well off: passing an amendment to prohibit childcare handouts for millionaires and putting forth a bipartisan proposal to stop paying unemployment benefits to millionaires," Coburn said. "Eliminating subsidies of the rich and famous in these and other programs is just one of the commonsense approaches Congress should be making to return commonsense to Washington's out of control budget that continues to spend money we do not have on things we do not need."
Under Udall and Coburn's proposal, individuals who made $1 million or more in adjusted gross income would be unable to claim unemployment benefits. This provision would go into effect immediately when the president signs it into law.
Udall and Coburn have been vocal advocates for fiscal responsibility and reducing the federal budget deficit. The bipartisan duo recently introduced a plan to end duplicative and wasteful federal programs. Udall and Coburn also have worked to pass a line-item veto authority to reduce wasteful spending and to end wasteful subsidies and earmarks.