Conservative group board members make millions in pandemic aid yet lobby against unemployment benefits

“If these groups are concerned the government is spending too much during this historic crisis, they are welcome to return their taxpayer-funded bailouts.”

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Numerous conservative groups’ board members have taken in tens of millions in coronavirus relief and are using the funds to influence lawmakers to make cuts that would aid unemployed workers during this time. 

The next phase of Covid-19 relief has been halted in the Senate as has the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit millions of citizens are dependent on since the coronavirus pandemic started. More than 30 million people were receiving these benefits alongside their state unemployment benefits. 

According to Salon, an extension or revision of this much-needed relief is halted largely because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have insisted on cutting the federal unemployment benefit created under the CARES Act in March from $600 per week to around $200 — based on a widely-debunked premise that it keeps workers from returning to their jobs.

Right-wing groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Club for Growth, more specifically their board members, have benefited immensely from the CARES ACT. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been the leading opponent for federal aid in unemployment benefits. 

“The group spent more than $15 million lobbying on ‘unemployment insurance’ and other issues in the first quarter, according to lobbying disclosures, and another $12 million lobbying on ‘unemployment insurance and the COVID-19 pandemic,’ as well as ‘workplace liability,’ another McConnell pet issue, in the second quarter,” says Salom author Igor Derysh. 

Other board members’ companies receiving millions and lobbying against helping those suffering from unemployment during this time include the:

  • CEO of Chime Solutions
  • CEO of Eaheart Industrial Service
  • CEO of Blue Rock Companies
  • head of the Quam-Nichols Company
  • CEO of Kaddas Enterprises
  • founderf of Cuisine Unlimited
  • president of DonahueFavret Conractors
  • pro-business group Business Roundtable 
  • higher-ups at FreedomWorks 
  • higher-up at Heritage Action for America 

Kyle Herrig, the president of the progressive government watchdog group Accountable.US says, “If these groups are concerned the government is spending too much during this historic crisis, they are welcome to return their taxpayer-funded bailouts.”

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