The House will use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the unemployment insurance drug testing rule, which severely restricts the states’ ability to limit drug abusers from receiving benefits payments. Federal law requires that applicants for unemployment insurance be able and available for employment. It also allows—but does not require—states to drug test applicants for unemployment insurance. People who are abusing drugs may fail job-related drug tests, meaning they are not truly available for employment. And when drug addicts continue to abuse drugs and fail to seek help to end their addiction, states should have the option of disallowing them for unemployment benefits and ending public support for their self-destructive habits.
This is a moral, economic, and constitutional issue. Allowing states to determine how best to administer the unemployment insurance program not only allows for problems to be solved at the most local level—as common sense and our Constitution call for—but it could also shore up struggling social insurance programs and help people overcome drug abuse.
Giving states flexibility by overturning this rule has immediate economic benefits. After implementing drug testing, Utah saved more than $350,000 in the first year alone as drug users were barred from receive benefit payments from the taxpayers.
Previous studies have found that drug abuse costs employers $81 billion annually, which means reducing drug use among employees and those looking for a job should be a priority of any employment program.
Who It Hurts
Limiting benefits for drug users helps the drug user the most. While states and welfare programs can’t make people’s decisions for them, giving unemployment insurance only to those who stay clean provides a great incentive for people to stop using drugs.
Not only that, but most employers require drug tests for worker anyway. More than half of employers drug test all candidate. Those on unemployment insurance who must, by law, be available for work must be verifiably drug free to get many jobs across the country.
Why We’re Doing This
The bureaucracy is a threat to our
· and People
The House has already passed legislation to change the structure in Washington so the federal bureaucracy is subject to the people and so we stop getting the same bad results year after year. Now, we’re targeting specific harmful regulations and stripping them off the books.
What We’ve Already Done
The House has already voted to overturn many harmful regulations using the Congressional Review Act: