Mar 26 2020

Graham Supports CARES Act, Plans to Revisit Unemployment Provision

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tonight made these statements on Senate passage of the CARES Act and his vote in support of the Sasse Amendment, which was defeated. 

The CARES Act will now be sent to the U.S. House of Representatives.


“I appreciate President Trump and his team, led by Secretary Mnuchin, for working with like-minded Republicans and Democrats to help get this bill over the line.  My Senate Republican colleagues led by Senator McConnell, did our best to shape this bill and keep it focused on the problems at hand.

“I voted yes because this bill, while far from perfect, will do a lot of good for people who are under tremendous stress and pressure. 

“The economic stabilization fund will leverage up to $4 trillion in private capital to sustain jobs and speed an economic recovery.  Grants to small business will help save millions from bankruptcy.  Direct payments to individuals and families, along with unemployment benefits, will keep peoples lights on and refrigerators stocked.  Help is on the way to the doctors and nurses who are in need of medical supplies, as this bill includes significant funding directed to help them.

“While the unemployment system in this bill needs to be fixed, on balance this legislation will help save the country.”


The Sasse Amendment would have corrected an error in the bill that would cause some individuals to make more money from unemployment benefits than they would working a 40 hour a week job.  It failed by a vote of 48-48..

“While our efforts on the Sasse Amendment fell short, I am not giving up.  Our amendment would have ensured we do not pay people more to be on unemployment than to actually get up and go work a 40 hour a week job. 

“If we don’t change this provision, we will have created a great incentive for people to leave the workforce.  Under the current setup, some people’s wages could actually be temporarily increased by 150 percent by leaving the workforce. 

“This is a perverse incentive which needs to be fixed.”