A Top Republican Senator Is Pushing One of the Biggest Jobs Programs in History

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Following calls by economists to temporarily “pause” the melting down economy, Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) in recent weeks debuted a plan to restore millions of jobs on the government dime and is now pushing for his proposal to guide coronavirus relief going forward.

Tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs to the coronavirus pandemic and concurrent shutdown. The specter of an unprecedented economic depression now looms over each week’s unemployment figures.

Fearing the effects of the economy contracting by up to a third, Congress has appropriated millions of dollars in aid to the newly out of work. But that spending is primarily focused on short-term relief and may be drawing even more people out of the workforce, potentially lengthening and deepening the recession. Hawley’s plan would go further, aiming to restore and then preserve employer-employee connections until the crisis has passed.

“The plan is really simple,” Hawley told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview. “It’s to try to rehire every person who has lost their job because of this health emergency and because of the government shutdown to deal with the health emergency. And it’s to try to protect every job in this country for the duration of this crisis.”

Although straightforward, the plan would amount to one of the biggest bailouts ever devised—a similar plan is projected to cost Denmark 13 percent of its GDP over three months. Hawley’s support for it, then, marks yet another case where the novel coronavirus has pushed a Republican leader to think outside the box economically, marking a change that is likely to last after the crisis is over. – READ MORE

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