A proposal to provide $450 weekly to unemployed Americans returning to work, in addition to their wages, is gaining traction among Republicans.
According to Fox News, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow indicated Republicans are open to a back-to-work bonus for unemployed Americans in the next round of coronavirus aid.
“It’s something we’re looking at very carefully. Sen. Portman has a good idea. He understands incentives and disincentives,” Kudlow said Tuesday during an interview on Fox News. “The trouble with the $600 plus-up, and maybe we needed it in that emergency period, but frankly it’s a major disincentive to go back to work and we don’t want that. We want people to go back to work.”
The proposal, drafted by Sen. Rob Portman, (R-Ohio), would provide $450 weekly to laid-off Americans returning to work, in addition to their wages. Under the proposal, the money would be distributed through July 31, the same week the extra $600 a week unemployment benefit ends.
Republican lawmakers are concerned that the $600 citizens are receiving in addition to their state unemployment benefits are discouraging Americans from returning to work. Republicans believe Americans would rather stay at home rather than work and risk catching the virus.
According to Fox News, Portman is reportedly working with the Senate Finance Committee on the proposal.
House Democrats, meanwhile, have passed a $3 trillion stimulus package that includes additional unemployment benefits. However, Republicans called the bill dead on arrival; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said additional jobless benefits will not be included in the next package.
According to unemployment numbers released Wednesday morning, another 2.1 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. The number is the lowest total since the coronavirus crisis began, but still higher than economists predicted last week, according to CNBC.