The Senate Republican majority is using government workers to help pay for private sector services in order to prevent the federal government from paying out billions of dollars in unemployment insurance payments to former workers, a Republican aide confirmed to The American Conservatives on Thursday.
The aide said that the Senate majority’s plan for dealing with the crisis includes eliminating the payments to the private sector and using the money to pay out unemployment benefits to the people who need them most.
The aides statement came as a new round of revelations about how Senate Republicans plan to address the crisis.
They revealed Thursday that they have hired more than 200 private sector employees to handle the work of the Senate Budget Committee, the main body that oversees legislation.
The Senate majority has spent more than $1.5 million on private sector staffers since the beginning of the fiscal year in July.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been working with the private industry to create the “job creation plan” that will include a “budget for jobs” that would include the private-sector workers to create more than 4 million new jobs, according to the aide.
McConnell told reporters on Wednesday that he has hired a number of private sector leaders, including the head of a construction company, to help him with the “biggest job creation plan I’ve ever seen.”
“I’m excited to announce today that the budget committee will be getting a $4.2 billion investment from the private economy,” McConnell said.
“They’ve hired 200 private industry folks to help us with the job creation.
We’re going to put that budget together in a way that it’s going to get done quickly, and we’re going take advantage of what they’ve done to put us on the path to job creation.”
The Senate Budget committee, which is responsible for all Senate budget bills, is expected to take up the budget plan Thursday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has criticized McConnell’s approach to unemployment payments, saying that “Republicans should not be making this up as they go along.”
“It’s a good example of how Republicans are using the private market to solve a serious problem that Congress has created and that has been ignored,” Schumer said.
McConnell said he plans to hold a news conference Thursday morning to explain the plan to reporters.
In a statement, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R) said that it is “unprecedented” for a Senate Republican to hire private sector officials to assist with the plan.
“We have to get the job done and we have to do it fast.
We can’t do it without them.
This is a tremendous opportunity for the private companies that are doing it right now,” Cornyn said.