Dem Questions Constitutionality of Drug Tests For Unemployment Benefits

December 13, 2011 - 2:41 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) questions if the lawmakers who created the drug testing provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, read the Constitution.

“One of the most egregious aspects of this bill is that it promotes state drug testing for workers to qualify for unemployment benefits,” Moore said on the House floor Tuesday. “Mr. Speaker did the authors of this provision know about the Constitution of the United States of America?”

“This bill also imposes new limits on unemployment compensation by restricting benefits that employees already have paid for. This is just outrageous,” Moore said later during debate on the bill.

Moore did not elaborate on why the drug testing provision may be unconstitutional.

The GOP measure extends the 4.2 percent rate for the payroll tax that was enacted in 2010 for an additional year. It extends unemployment insurance benefits but through a process that gradually reduces the length of time they can be claimed from 99 weeks to 59 weeks. 

The bill also allows states to require drug testing as a condition of receiving unemployment benefits and requires beneficiaries to continually search for work and participate in re-employment programs.