- Graham said in a radio interview with Sean Hannity that the $ 2 trillion stimulus bill was "Bernie Sanders on Steroids".
- He was one of the four GOP senators who broke the bill to significantly increase unemployment benefits and described them as "massive editorial mistakes".
- They said they would refuse to approve the bill quickly if their concerns were not resolved.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham attacked the massive $ 2 trillion bill in a radio interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday afternoon, calling it "Bernie Sanders on steroids".
"This is Bernie Sanders with steroids … This is Bernie Sanders running away," he said on the program, referring to the Democratic presidential candidate. "He couldn't win at the ballot box, but he wins on that bill."
The coronavirus bailout sparked a storm of criticism from four Republican senators who argue that expanded unemployment benefits in legislation prevent people from working.
"If this isn't a design flaw, it's the worst idea I've ever seen," Graham said on Wednesday.
They called it a "massive editorial mistake" that had "devastating consequences" for the economy a common statement – and said they would refuse to speed up mammoth economic legislation if their concerns were not resolved.
The bill would add $ 600 a week to unemployment benefits for up to four months. It contains provisions to expand the safety network for gig workers and freelancers who have severely affected the economic consequences of the corona virus.
Most states pay benefits for about 26 weeks, according to the New York Times. However, legislation provides for a pandemic unemployment support program that extends the benefit window to 39 weeks and includes people who are normally ineligible, such as contract workers.
People can only receive unemployment benefits if they are dismissed or dismissed.
On Wednesday, Sanders said he would not vote for the bill if there are concerns about a $ 500 billion fund overseen by the Treasury to help private companies face financial difficulties – unless the four GOP senators dropped their demands.
This triggered a complaint from Graham on Twitter: "Only in the Senator @ BernieSanders The world makes sense to pay people more for NOT working than working, "said the South Carolina Senator.
– Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 25, 2020
In a follow-up tweet, Graham said the federal government should limit unemployment benefits to an employee's full salary.
Sanders fired back.
"I can't let some right-wing senators try to undermine workers' needs at the last minute and think they'll get away with it," said Sanders a reporter told The New York Times.
The Trump administration also defended the provision at a press conference on Wednesday evening. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that many states were using outdated equipment to provide benefits, and legislators simply had no time to design a tailored program given the severity of the crisis.
"This was the only way we could ensure that states could get money out quickly and fairly, so we used $ 600 across the board," said Mnuchin. "I don't think it will create incentives. Most Americans … they want to keep their jobs."