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Kustoff Co-Sponsors Bill to Help Businesses Rebuild Their Workforce

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff

WASHINGTON, DC (April 22) — Congressman David Kustoff (TN-08), co-sponsored the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2021. This bill will help local West Tennessee businesses rebuild their workforce quickly by turning enhanced unemployment benefits into a back-to-work bonus.

“As more Americans get vaccinated and states begin to open up, it is time for citizens to get back to work so we can continue rebuilding our economy. Unfortunately, as I talk to folks across West Tennessee, I hear that businesses are competing with enhanced unemployment benefits,” said Rep. Kustoff. “Nobody should have to choose between going back to their jobs with a steady paycheck or making even more on unemployment. This important bill will help people get back to work and ensure the pandemic job losses our country experienced, do not turn into permanent job losses.”

Bill Summary:

The Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2021 would help connect unemployed workers with jobs to get the economy going again. The bill includes:

  • Time limited back-to-work bonuses: Makes work pay by providing a one-time payment of either $1,200 (full-time) or $600 (part-time) to unemployed workers that obtain employment, comparable to a hiring bonus. The bonus requires verification from an individual’s employer of their hours and earnings and would be available through July 1, 2021.
  • Reemployment services: In recognition of the increased need for support to laid off workers, the bill accelerates a scheduled increase in funding for Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments (RESEA) and expands the pool of eligible workers to include those receiving benefits through CARES Act unemployment programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
  • Reinstate job search requirement: The bill reinstates the federal work search requirement for individuals receiving unemployment. Last March, when businesses were closed, Congress provided flexibility for states to waive this requirement. Thirty-two states continue to have a waiver in place. Reopening the economy will require connecting all available workers to job openings.

In other legislative news, last week Kustoff joined Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) to re-introduce the SECURE CAMPUS Act. This legislation would prohibit Chinese nationals from receiving visas to the United States for graduate or post-graduate studies in STEM fields. Congressman Kustoff is joined by Representatives Scott Perry (PA-10), Tom Tiffany (WI-07), and Rick Crawford (AR-01) in re-introducing this important legislation in the House.

The bill mandates that participants in China’s foreign talent recruitment programs register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. It expands the definition of “economic espionage” under U.S. Code to more accurately reflect the range of institutions the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses to steal technology from the United States. It also mandates that the Secretary of State develop and publish a list of China’s foreign talent recruitment programs.

“The SECURE CAMPUS Act will protect our national security from the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to exploit and steal our cutting-edge research and technology from inside our American universities. It is time we put an end to China’s abuse and ensure our intellectual property remains secured. I am proud to re-introduce this legislation with Senator Cotton,” said Congressman Kustoff.

“Allowing China unfettered access to American research institutions is akin to granting Soviet scientists access to our critical laboratories during the Cold War. We shouldn’t allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit the openness of American research institutions any longer. The SECURE CAMPUS Act will help stop Chinese nationals from stealing U.S. technology, which the CCP uses against our own troops and businesses,” said Senator Cotton.

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