Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday that the unemployment rate dropping to 11.1 percent in June is “really good news,” adding that “it means America's coming back economically.”
“It means we need a rescue package that would hit the gas to make the economy grow faster,” he went on to say.
Graham appeared on “Fox & Friends” minutes after the Labor Department revealed in its report that employers added 4.8 million jobs in June — the biggest increase on record. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv had expected the report to show that unemployment dropped to 12.3 percent and that employers added 3 million jobs.
Graham pointed out on Thursday that the report indicates that businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March rehired millions of idled workers and “people are going back to work.”
“There's confidence that you can actually open up the country,” he said.
On Thursday, Graham explained what might be included in the phase 4 stimulus relief package.
“The president is proposing a payroll tax cut that would put money into the pocket of consumers and businesses. That would stimulate the economy,” he said.
VIRUS STILL KEEPING CLOSE TO 140,000 BUSINESSES CLOSED, REPORT SHOWS
Graham went on to say that an infrastructure bill could be included, which would “give America a face-lift with our roads, bridges and ports that would set in motion future job creation.”
“We need to make sure you don't pay people more in unemployment benefits than they get to work that will help get people back to work,” he continued, adding that he’s “even willing to do a minimum wage increase.”
Boosted unemployment benefits of an extra $600 a week, which was part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress at the end of March, are set to expire the end of this month.
Graham also said “liability reforms” should be included in the next rescue package so businesses “can open up without being sued.”
“Congress needs to act in July to continue this trend,” Graham said. “If we had the right kind of stimulus package we’d be going through the roof by October in terms of economic growth.”
Host Ainsley Earhardt noted that senators were going on a two-week break and asked Graham, “When do you think this next relief package will be released?”
He said it needs to get done “just as soon as we get back.”
“The bottom line here is we got an opening, take it. It may not last,” Graham said.
He acknowledged that “the coronavirus can be a wet blanket in all of this reopening if we don't control it.”
Graham encouraged President Trump to call all governors and ask how he can help them as some states, including Texas and Florida, are reporting a spike in coronavirus cases.
“Let's really double down on testing because that gives us insight how to control the virus,” Graham said, adding that “a vaccine and therapies are on the way.”
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“I'm increasingly optimistic that we're going to control the virus and reopen the economy smartly,” he said.
Fox Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.