On Tuesday, the measure passed in the Senate with a party-line vote, all but signaling an end to the Department of Labor rule that GOP lawmakers complained placed restrictions on states’ ability to decide whether unemployment applicants can be drug tested.
Following the vote, Sen. Ted Cruz said that Congress wanted to let the states determine which unemployment applicants should be drug tested.
“The Obama Department of Labor substantially narrowed the law to circumstances where testing is legally required, not merely allowed,” Cruz said.
The rule, which went into effect Sept. 30 last year, was a provision implemented in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, that more specifically stated when a person can be drug tested when applying for unemployment benefits.
Under the rule, an applicant can only be tested if he or she worked for a job that did regular drug screenings. Some of the specific listings included jobs in transit, aviation, commercial driving and ones that require the use of a gun.
In California, unemployment insurance applicants do not get drug tested before receiving benefits.