Romney: $600 extra unemployment benefits unlikely to continue

Jul 22, 2020, 3:57 PM

romney unemployment...

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, leaves a Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill on June 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, wants to see the extra $600 a week in pandemic unemployment benefits cut back, but he acknowledges the White House could send out to citizens a second coronavirus check by siding with Democrats and snagging a few Republicans.

Romney joined Debbie Dujanovic and Dave Noriega to talk about a possible extension of the $600 a week in unemployment benefits. Jobless Americans have been receiving the added help during the pandemic. But at issue for Romney is whether the extra money should continue past the end of July deadline, as Congress works on an additional economic stimulus for the nation’s citizens and businesses.

Romney on unemployment

“You’re on the side of extending benefits, some sort of stimulus. So I want to talk about unemployment insurance. I remember that 600 bucks when it first got announced. Holy cow! I don’t know what kind of rents they’re paying, where 600 bucks a week is the right amount. But give us an idea what that looks like,” Dave said.

“You’re right. I think the $600 number was a gift to the Democrats. They insisted on that. Obviously, it’s an effort to raise the minimum wage at the same time. We will probably get there, but the $600 extension is not going to happen, in my opinion. My hope is you’ll see unemployment insurance extended beyond the end of this month,” Romney said. “But unemployment benefits will not be an additional $600, but maybe, $200, $300 more than a typical payment of $350. So people will see a total of something like a total of $650 or $750 a week. But not the $950 a week that folks have been seeing through July.”

More stimulus checks? 

“Senator Romney, how quickly will that happen because I know a lot of Utah families that are relying on this?” Debbie asked. “We can debate all day long whether the $600 was too much or too little, but they’re still relying on an additional amount of money. So how quickly will Congress get this passed?”

Romney said he expects the stimulus legislation will be completed at the end of July or first week of August.

Dave asked if the legislation is set to include another stimulus check for every adult US citizen with an additional amount for every child.

“I think most of the Republicans in the Senate and in the House are not enthusiastic about another check of that nature. But I did see that the White House is encouraging us to do that. We will see what the Democrats want to do,” Romney said. “Obviously, if the White House and Democrats get together and they agree amongst themselves, the president will be able to pick off a few Republicans to go along with that and perhaps get a so-called stimulus check to individuals and families. We’ll see where that goes. That’s kinda up in air right now.”

Payroll protection

Debbie pointed out that a lot of listeners have complained that the Payroll Protection Program went to large businesses that didn’t need the help.

“So should we extend PPP?” she asked.

Romney said PPP was designed to get money out as fast as possible to allow companies to maintain their payrolls during the coronavirus crisis. The senator said he believes the program will be extended, but limited to companies that have seen a 25% to 50% decline in sales year over year.

He said he has heard of businesses that have seen an increase in revenue during the pandemic and received money from PPP. 

“That is simply not right, and I hope the Treasury [Department] audits some of those firms, and holds people’s feet to the fire,” Romney said.


“Are we just throwing in the towel with the national debt? We’ve heard of trillions upon trillions of dollars just this year,” Dave said.

Romney said the interest in reining in the national debt has waned among Democrats, Republicans and the White House.

“I am one of the few voices that really cares about that issue,” he said. “. . . But we shouldn’t be borrowing money when you come out of the crisis. And we should not have been borrowing over the last few years when the economy was strong.”


Debbie pointed out that the senator was concerned about the lag time between testing for COVID-19 and receiving the results, which can take between five and seven days.

“What’s going on? Do you have any insight on that?” Debbie asked.

“If people have to wait several days to get the results of their tests, during that time they may be infecting family members. And family members may be unknowingly infecting others,” Romney said.

The senator said there needs to be a national strategy for speeding up testing of COVID-19 so people can get the results and act accordingly.

“Without that, we’re going to continue to see cases rise,” Romney said.


Romney said he hopes to see schools reopen in the fall, but if that leads to a spike in COVID-19 cases, the schools are going to have to adjust or shut down again. 

“Let’s try to get them open. The idea of our kids not being able to go to school and parents not being able to go to work because they have got to care for their kids, that’s a real problem. So I hope we find a way to get our schools open. But I do trust the local administrators, the local decision-makers to do what they believe is right for the interests of our kids and our families at large.”

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Politics + Government

Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Japayal on Sunday reiterated her call for a ceasefire in Gaza, eve...

Casey Gannon, CNN

Rep. Pramila Jayapal stands by call for ceasefire in Gaza as fighting resumes

Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Japayal on Sunday reiterated her call for a ceasefire in Gaza, even as fighting has resumed.

21 hours ago

Buoys meant to deter migrant crossings are anchored in the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas, o...

Sara Weisfeldt and Kaanita Iyer, CNN

Federal appeals court orders Texas to remove controversial border buoys from Rio Grande

Texas has been ordered to remove its border buoys from the Rio Grande, in another victory for the Biden administration.

3 days ago

FILE - U.S. Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., holds a miniature American flag that was presented to him a...

By Gregory Krieg, CNN

The race is already on for Santos’ New York seat as Hochul prepares to announce special election date

George Santos is gone from Congress, but his disastrous tenure will not be forgotten by party leaders as they prepare for what is expected to be a fiercely contested and expensive special election to replace him.

3 days ago

old state flag shown, a group wants to repeal the new utah flag...

Olivia Calvert

One group would like to see if Utah voters want to keep the new flag

If successful, the proposed bill to remove the new Utah flag and restore the former one will appear on the November 2024 ballot.

3 days ago

In a historic move, the House voted Friday to expel GOP Rep. George Santos,
Credit: Francis Chung/P...

Clare Foran and Haley Talbot, CNN

House votes to expel Santos from Congress in historic vote

Following a scathing ethics report, Rep. George Santos has been voted out of Congress on Friday morning.

3 days ago

The TikTok logo is displayed on signage outside TikTok social media app company offices in Culver C...

By Samantha Delouya, CNN

Judge blocks Montana’s TikTok ban from taking effect on January 1

(CNN) — A federal judge on Thursday halted Montana’s TikTok ban, which was set to go into effect at the start of 2024. In a filing, US District Judge Donald Molloy said that despite the state government’s attempt to defend the law, “the current record leaves little doubt that Montana’s legislature and Attorney General were […]

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

Romney: $600 extra unemployment benefits unlikely to continue