July 29, 2020/Media, Press

Tillis Claims He Wants Compromise, Yet Seeks to Cut to Unemployment Benefits by Nearly Half

CBC Editorial: “Ending the $600 benefit for 30 million Americans is a colossal mistake”

“It’s scary”: North Carolinians say state benefits alone “are not enough” and that Tillis’ proposed cuts are “a significant reduction that definitely puts my ability to pay basic living expenses in jeopardy.”

Senator Tillis yesterday said that he wants a “deal soon” over extending federal unemployment benefits, an apparent reversal from his stance just a few weeks ago that extending unemployment benefits may “make the problem worse.

Yet despite his shifting stance, he and Senate Republicans continue to push massive cuts that would leave North Carolinians out of work with benefits they say “are not enough.”

Tillis’ actions reveal more than his rhetoric. Last week, he released a plan that “does not mention… unemployment benefits.” As his hometown paper wrote, “Tillis’ COVID-19 plan, which provides robust protection for businesses threatened by the virus, didn’t do the same for the jobless.” As Speaker, Tillis made “unprecedented cuts to unemployment compensation.

Editorials, meanwhile, continue to blast Tillis, writing that “North Carolina’s Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis have not acted.” “Why don’t we hear their voices? Why aren’t they demanding action, a Senate bill, or even a vote on the plan the U.S. House delivered two months ago?”

North Carolinians out of work are wondering the same too — saying they’re “struggling, going from food bank to food bank,” that they “don’t think I can handle another shutdown,” and calling Tillis’ and Senate Republicans’ push to cut benefits “a significant reduction that definitely puts my ability to pay basic living expenses in jeopardy.”

“Which is it, Senator Tillis: do you want a compromise or do you think that extending federal benefits for people out of work will make things worse?” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “North Carolinians have been clear – the cruel system and unprecedented cuts Speaker Tillis made have left them with paltry benefits that aren’t enough to keep their lights on or keep food on the table. Yet instead of standing up for them, Tillis is nowhere to be found.”