Before Attacking UI Benefits, Anti-Worker U.S. Chamber Should Look in Mirror
Washington, D.C. — In recent days, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been desperate to smear the enhanced $300 federal unemployment insurance signed into law by President Biden as the reason for slower-than-expected jobs growth last month. While the claim flies in the face of the data and findings of leading economists, the trade group should look no further than its own regressive policy stances. Experts have shown that a lack of living wages and accessible childcare are two critical factors keeping jobs numbers down — and the Chamber has come out loudly opposing both.
The Chamber has also called President Biden’s infrastructure plan, which would create millions of jobs, “‘dangerously misguided’” because of its modest tax inc reases for wealthy corporations.
“If the Chamber is truly concerned about jobs, it should look at its opposition to livable wages and accessible childcare — the real things standing in the way of Americans coming back to work,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The Chamber’s attack on unemployment benefits is just the latest in its long history of advocating against workers in order to help out already-wealthy corporations. Attacking much-needed support for families as a job growth stifler while loudly opposing policies that would help get people back into the workforce is hypocrisy at its worst.”
The Chamber has also been leading the fight against H.R.1, legislation aimed at protecting voting rights for Black and Brown Americans that have been under heightened attack in recent weeks. Accountable.US has called on its member corporations — many of which have come out in support of voting rights protections — to cut their ties with the Chamber to live up to their commitments.
- In spite of its complaints that the jobless benefit pays Americans more than they would earn through work, the Chamber has long fought to keep workers’ pay low. Just this year, it fiercely fought against the $15 living wage and called it a “‘political number,’” despite expert analyses showing the current minimum wage can’t cover expenses for single workers in any state, and even a raised $15 wage could not cover expenses for a typical American family of four.
- Even as it acknowledged that “parents are struggling to hold jobs without childcare,” the Chamber has fought against Biden’s economic recovery plans — which heavily emphasizes child care — and the tax increases that will fund them.
- The Chamber called Biden’s infrastructure plan to create millions of jobs “‘dangerously misguided’” for its modest corporate tax increases, even as the construction and manufacturing sectors were still experiencing flat or declining job growth in April 2021.
See more information on the Chamber’s history of backing anti-worker policies HERE.
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