Congressman Kustoff discusses COVID-19 relief, violent crime in Memphis

Congress fails to reach deal on unemployment benefits

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With unemployment benefits running out this month for as many as 30 million Americans, the White House and Senate Republicans failed to reach an agreement Thursday on a new COVID-19 relief deal to broker with Democrats.

West Tennessee Congressman David Kustoff proposes holding off on extending the $600 a week unemployment insurance.

“What I’ve signed on a bill to sponsor is to give workers a return-to-work bonus if, in fact, their job is available. They could come back. They could get up to a $1,200 to return to work and let’s get them back on the payroll,” said Kustoff.

Kustoff says many employers in his 8th Congressional District say it’s difficult to get employees to return to work when pandemic unemployment relief pays more than they earn on the job.

Congressman on violent crime in Memphis, says local local agencies are doing good

Congressman Kustoff also said that while violent crime in the Bluff City is regrettable, he believes Memphis Police and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office have a good handle on it.

We asked Kustoff under what conditions would he approve a federal police surge here as we’ve seen in Portland.

“You know, if there was a threat on federal property. the answer is yes. If there was a request from local leadership from Memphis for federal agents, then the answer is yes,” said Kustoff.

There is no request from Memphis or Shelby County leadership for federal police whatsoever.

Congressman Kustoff says he has had no discussion with the acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf about a surge of federal police here as we’ve seen in Portland.

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