Biden: Unemployed must take suitable job if offered

President Joe Biden says anyone collecting unemployment who gets offered a suitable job "must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits." (May 10)

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: 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.

I know there's been a lot of discussion since Friday-- since Friday's report, that people are being paid to stay home rather than go to work. Well, we don't see much evidence of that. I think the people who claim Americans won't work even if they find a good and fair opportunity underestimate the American people. So, we'll insist that the law is followed, with respect to benefits, but we're now going to turn our backs on our fellow Americans.

22 million people lost their jobs in this pandemic, through no fault of their own. They lost their jobs to a virus and to a government that bungled its response to the crisis and failed to protect them. We still have eight million fewer jobs than we did when the pandemic started. And for many of those folks, unemployment benefits are a lifeline.

No one should be allowed to game the system, and we'll insist the law is followed. But let's not take our eye off the ball. Families-- families who are just trying to put food on the table, keep a roof over their head-- they aren't the problem. We need to stay focused on the real problems in front of us, beating this pandemic and creating jobs.

The American Rescue Plan is just that, a rescue plan. It's to get us out of the crisis and back on track. But it's not nearly enough.

That's why we need the American Jobs Plan, which is an eight year investment. An eight year investment strategy to make sure working people of this country get to share in the benefits of rising economy and to put us in a position to win the competition with China and the rest of the world for the 21st century. That's the next stage. That's what we're doing right now. We're working to get that passed.