Scott’s concern was echoed by fellow Republicans like South Carolina Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, as well as Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who all believed the bill’s $600 per week increase in unemployment benefits, on top of state benefits, could incentivize low-wage earners to not go back to work after all this blows over.
“We have a virus and we know people can’t work for a variety of reasons,” said Scott, whose net worth is estimated to be over $255 million and was partially obtained by overseeing the largest Medicare fraud in U.S. history. “We got to help them but at the moment we go back to work, we cannot create an incentive not to work. We cannot be paying people more money on unemployment than they get paid in their job."
"We cannot be paying people more money on unemployment than they get paid in their job.”tweet this
I support expanding the Unemployment Insurance program. It’s the best and quickest way to get money to people that need it most.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) March 26, 2020
But we shouldn’t create a system where Unemployment Insurance benefits are higher than a salary. pic.twitter.com/VmrI6hdFU0
Of course, despite the criticism from Scott, the Senate ultimately passed the historic stimulus bill unanimously.
As the Orlando Sentinel pointed out last week, while Florida’s unemployment rate skyrockets to record highs, the state's current, and god awful unemployment benefit system ranks among the worst in the country, capping out at $275 a week and lasting only 12 weeks. You can thank Scott for both that and the website that barely works.
Meanwhile, Scott and his colleagues will now go on a three-week paid vacation.
This story originally appeared in Creative Loafing Tampa.
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