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Sen. Bill Cassidy calls for an end to federal unemployment benefits

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 10:23 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Senator Bill Cassidy called for an end to federal unemployment benefits on a conference call with reporters today.

Cassidy claims the additional $300 a week claimants are receiving as a result of the American Rescue Act is incentivizing people to stay home.

“We have folks who frankly are getting paid more not to work. We have economists from left and right of center who say that encourages people not to work.”

Cassidy encouraged Governor John Bel Edwards to end Louisiana’s participation in the program.

“We need to stop that. For the sake of the worker, for the sake of our businesses and for the sake of our entire economy. With the pandemic under control, let’s get back to work.”

Locally, business owners are seeing the effects of people’s unwillingness to work.

Leatha Fox owns Arby’s on Louisville Avenue in Monroe. Fox is so short-staffed, she has been forced to close her dining room after 5 PM.

“Right now, I feel like the biggest problem is everyone can stay home and make more money than what we can afford to pay them.”

Fox says she needs at least six additional employees to constitute a full staff. She says the shortage is making it hard to serve customers in a timely manner.

Twenty-five states have announced plans to end their participation in the federal government’s unemployment program, some as soon as this week.

Last month, Governor Edwards announced that he would not end Louisiana’s participation in the program at that time, but did leave the door open to re-evaluating his decision down the road.

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