Blue Dogs Back Bipartisan Legislation to Help Americans Return to Work

Aug 4, 2021
Press Release
WASHINGTON—Today, the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition, announced it has endorsed the Strengthening Unemployment Programs to Provide Opportunities for Recovery and Training (SUPPORT) for New Workers Act, which helps unemployed Americans return to work by ensuring that they do not lose income when they take a new job, while also continuing to provide critical assistance to millions of people who cannot find work. The bipartisan unemployment insurance adjustment legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition’s Task Force on National Security; Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), the Blue Dog Coalition’s Co-Chair for Communications; and Republican Congressman Peter Meijer (MI-03).
“Throughout the small business walks that I’ve conducted across NJ-11, I’ve heard about the difficulty in finding workers to fully re-open our businesses, as well as the continued struggle that working families face with childcare issues and barriers to re-entering the workforce. The SUPPORT for New Workers Act will help to address these issues while still providing the critical support that unemployed Americans rely upon,” said Rep. Sherrill. “As our economic challenges continue to evolve, we must support our small businesses who are working to fully re-open while ensuring continued support for families in need. This legislation will help us do both. I’m so proud this bill is receiving the endorsement of the Blue Dog Coalition, and I look forward to working with the Coalition’s members and both parties to get it passed.”
“Central Virginia’s workers need continued support as we recover from the pandemic. Simultaneously, many of our region’s small businesses and restaurants are struggling to keep up with unforeseen costs as they rehire employees and return to full capacity,” said Rep. Spanberger. “Our SUPPORT for New Workers Act is a bipartisan, commonsense bill that would use existing federal funding to provide a percentage of unemployment benefits to Americans who head back into the workforce — while also giving our businesses an additional tool for recruiting and hiring high-skilled employees. I am proud to have the backing of the Blue Dog Coalition as we work to move this legislation forward, and I am encouraged that our legislation is bringing greater attention to the needs of America’s small businesses, business owners, workers, and their families as we rebuild from the pandemic.”
“Americans are ready to get back to work, but for many, financial hardships are standing in their way,” said Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46), Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition’s Task Force on Jobs and Economic Growth. “I joined my colleagues in support of the bipartisan SUPPORT for New Workers Act because it ensures families are better prepared as they transition back to work. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed may families to their breaking point. This important legislation ensures Main Street has our support when entering a new job.”
The SUPPORT for New Workers Act creates the Newly Employed Worker Allowance, which will provide individuals who have become employed after previously receiving unemployment insurance with weekly payments of $180 (60 percent of their previous $300 per week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit) from the time they become employed until the expiration of FPUC on September 6, 2021 (up to a maximum of nine weeks).
If a state determines that it is unable to provide these payments promptly due to administrative challenges, it can instead provide a one-time payment to newly employed individuals that is equal to $180 per week multiplied by the number of weeks from the individual’s start of employment to September 6 (up to a maximum of nine weeks).
Individuals are eligible for these payments if they become employed on or after the date that this legislation is enacted. States will begin providing payments to eligible individuals immediately after they become employed.
This legislation does not change the benefits that are available to unemployed workers. They will continue to receive state and federal benefits as currently exist, but under this legislation would now be eligible for the Newly Employed Worker Allowance if they gain employment.