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Arrington and Bishop Introduce Legislation to Jumpstart the Economy

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Reps. Jodey Arrington (TX-19) and Dan Bishop (NC-09) introduced the “Jumpstart the Economy Through Jobs Act.” With nearly 40% of workers making more money staying home than they made at their previous job, and a record-shattering 8.1 million open jobs on the market, this legislation is necessary to require workers to reconfirm they have a legitimate reason for receiving federal unemployment benefits. If an individual turns down a job to receive unemployment insurance, they are committing unemployment fraud. Since the start of the COVID pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) estimates at least $63 billion in improper payments–much of it unemployment fraud–have been issued to individuals not truly eligible for UI. 

“Since the start of the COVID pandemic, I have been a vocal critic of the federal enhanced unemployment benefit,” said Rep. Arrington. “Businesses throughout the country, including many in my Congressional District, are unable to reopen their doors because the government is paying workers more to be on unemployment than they made in their previous job. This legislation will crack down on unemployment fraud by increasing oversight and ensuring that only individuals truly in need of help get it.”

“One of the most consistent things I hear from North Carolina small businesses is that they cannot find the workers they need because the federal government is paying them more to stay home,” said Rep. Dan Bishop. “The latest abysmal jobs report further illustrates that this is happening throughout the country. President Biden’s plan to keep people sidelined through continued government checks is having a drastic effect on the job market. This bill will help right the ship by getting Americans who have a job waiting for them back to work.” 

"As the pandemic nears an end, it's important to have policies in place that encourage Americans to get back into the workforce. Congressmen Bishop and Arrington's legislation will begin to roll back enhanced unemployment benefits by ensuring that they are utilized only by those who truly need them. Their bill will help accelerate our nation's recovery and boost our economy."

Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union

"The Democrat unemployment program has slowed the economic recovery by paying workers to stay at home. Currently, 1 in 3 Americans can receive more in unemployment insurance than they would in their job. Rep. Dan Bishop and Rep. Jodey Arrington should be applauded for introducing legislation that helps fix this problem by requiring those receiving UI to certify that they have not received a job offer from their previous employers. There are millions of job openings and businesses are struggling to hire, so it is imperative that lawmakers act to fix this worker shortage.” 

- Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform


  • The CARES Act provided an additional $600 a week to individuals receiving regular unemployment benefits, either from the state of PEUC, known as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). 
    • Subsequent COVID-19 relief packages have extended the time period that these benefits have been made available. The most recent the reconciliation package, or the American Rescue Plan, in March extended all of these benefits to September 6, 2021.
  • According to the American Action Forum, an estimated 37% of workers will receive more on unemployment than when they were working, creating a disincentive to return to work and holding back recovery efforts 
  • In March 2021, the national unemployment rate was 6.0 percent. This shows the United States still has 8.4M jobs less than February 2020 when the pandemic hit.
  • The robust increase in the federal unemployment benefits has decreased the effort made by individuals in searching for a new job. Businesses around the country have reported that workers are turning down their former employers when asked to resume work. 


Congressman Jodey Arrington is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives serving the Nineteenth Congressional District of Texas. He serves as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.