Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) vowed not to extend unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic, saying in early May that it would only happen “over our dead bodies.”

The “our” referenced him and Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) who both attended a state task force panel about reopening South Carolina.

Graham has vocalized his distaste for unemployment benefits, believing they motivate people to stay home rather than return to work, despite unemployment numbers reaching near Depression levels.

“I promise you, over our dead bodies will this get reauthorized,” Graham said. “We’ve got to stop this. You cannot turn on the economy until you get this aberration of the law of fixed.”

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Congress passed a series of measures meant to ease the financial burdens the pandemic was placing on workers and small business owners, including providing a one-time payment to American taxpayers who met certain income requirements, creating an expansive loan program and giving an addition $600 per week for those collecting unemployment benefits through July 25. Unemployment benefits were also broadened to temporarily include “gig” workers such as Uber drivers.


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