Press Room

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), Mark Udall (D-CO), Jon Tester (D-MT), John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement today to urge the Senate to pass a bill that would end unemployment payments to jobless millionaires. This bill will save up to $100 million by stopping federal unemployment payments to those earning more than $1 million.

“Allowing individuals who earned more than $1 million last year to collect unemployment benefits is indefensible. This is a common sense, bipartisan spending cut. Ending this practice will save nearly $20 million every year and correct a gross injustice against unemployed Americans who didn’t earn $1 million last year,” said Dr. Coburn.

“While Colorado families work hard to balance their budgets and put food on their tables amid a slowly recovering economy, asking them to also pay for unemployment insurance for millionaires is unbelievable,” Mark Udall said. “Especially at a time when money is tight and our debt is out of control, we should be looking for smart, strategic ways to save money. I’m proud to work with Senator Coburn on this common-sense proposal to save the taxpayers up to $100 million.”

“At a time of record deficits and debt, the last thing we should expect is for the American taxpayer to foot the bill to pad the pockets of unemployed millionaires,” said Senator John McCain. “I hope my colleagues will join us in supporting this commonsense amendment to eliminate this wasteful practice.”

“In tough economic times, millionaires shouldn’t be allowed to bill American taxpayers for unemployment insurance. While we work on a long-term strategy to cut spending and cut our debt, hardworking Montanans know that we can take common sense steps now to get spending under control” said Senator Tester.

Click here for text of the amendment (#281).

Click here for additional background.

Click here for a spreadsheet from the IRS website documenting 2,840 individuals with an adjusted gross income of over $1,000,000 who also received unemployment payments in 2008.

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