The US President said people collecting unemployment benefits must take a “suitable job” when offered or lose their benefits. It followed experts sharing that Americans making $32,000 (£22,640.6) a year before the coronavirus pandemic now earn more by staying home.
In a press briefing, Mr Biden stated the policy does not include those who are unemployed due to Covid.
Speaking from the White House, he told reporters: “We’re going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment, who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits.
“There are a few COVID-19 related exceptions, so that people aren’t forced to choose between their basic safety and a paycheck, but otherwise, that’s the law.”
The President also dismissed claims people earned more than they did before Covid through benefits, and said: “Americans want to work.
“I think the people [who] claim Americans won’t work, even if they find a good and fair opportunity, underestimate the American people.”
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Twitter users were confused about what the President deemed a “suitable” job for Americans.
Mr Biden did not specify what he meant at the White House, but insisted companies that “provide fair wages and safe work environments” will “find plenty of workers”.
One social media user said: “Poverty wages that are less than what the unemployment was paying doesn’t fit the definition for people anymore.”
Another user posted: “This is laughable. And pretty much just goes to show how out of touch he is.”
A third user sarcastically responded to Mr Biden’s announcement and said: “Good luck with that.”
Republicans also blasted the President for his comments, pointing out unemployment benefits have risen dramatically during the Covid pandemic.
Mr Biden’s administration passed Covid relief legislation which expanded benefits to an average of $638-a-week (£451) until September 6.
As a result, the Bank of America estimated anyone who earned $32,000 (£22,640.60) before the pandemic can now get more from a combination of state and federal unemployment benefits.
Sen. Josh Hawley, Republican for Missouri, said after Mr Biden’s remarks at the White House: “Turns out paying people more NOT to work isn’t such a great pro-work policy.”
It follows a report, released last week, showing US employers only added 266,000 jobs in April for the weakest month of new hires since January.
Rep. Kevin Brady, Republican for Texas, said: “Unequivocal proof that President Biden is sabotaging our jobs recovery with promises of higher taxes & regulation on local businesses that discourage hiring, drive jobs overseas.”
The Twitter page for Republicans on the committee added on Friday: “US job growth for the month of April fell far below what experts had predicted.
“Democrats are paying 4 in 10 jobless more to stay home than to return to work.”