Dear Mr. President:
Thank you for your leadership as our country recovers from the economic fallout resulting from the
COVID-19 pandemic, including by signing bipartisan legislation, like the Paycheck Protection
Program Flexibility Act, into law. You listened to the concerns of small business employers about
the negative impacts posed by the failure to fully reopen the economy and the barriers to
effectively rehiring employees created by enhanced government unemployment benefits. As
negotiations on further federal legislative actions begin, we write to urge you to firmly oppose any
extension of the $600 supplemental unemployment insurance (UI) enacted in the Coronavirus Aid,
Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Future legislation should only include policies that encourage businesses to reopen and hire
employees. In fact, extending the $600 supplemental UI payments will only slow our economic
recovery. According to the Congressional Budget Office, extending the supplemental UI program
through the end of the year would result in approximately five of every six recipients receiving
benefits that exceed their expected earnings when they return to work.
It should be a fundamental principle that government benefits should not pay Americans more
than if they went to work. The result is no surprise: CBO determined extending this program
would result in higher unemployment in both 2020 and 2021. Small businesses are facing
unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns enacted by state and
local governments. There could not be a worse time for the federal government to create
disincentives for returning to work.
The most effective path to economic recovery is to allow businesses to safely reopen their doors and
rehire employees. If there is future action from the federal government, it should reinforce those
goals. Allowing the $600 supplemental UI benefit to expire will lower unemployment and help
small businesses rehire employees. We urge you to oppose any extension.