While lawmakers debate the necessity of and scope of another coronavirus relief package, conservatives are voicing their concerns about extending the enhanced unemployment benefits.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has proposed giving workers a $450 bonus to incentivize workers to return to their jobs.
“Senator Portman has a good idea. He understands incentives and disincentives,” Kudlow said during an interview on Fox News when asked about Portman’s idea. He added that administration officials are looking at the idea “very carefully.”
He continued, “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.”
Watch the interview below:
Additionally, Kudlow said that the administration still supports the idea of a payroll tax cut.
Portman’s proposal of a back-to-work bonus comes as Republicans have rejected the idea of extending the enhanced unemployment benefits.
The $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill Congress passed in March enhanced unemployment benefits by giving Americans $600 a week on top of their state unemployment benefits.
While the extended unemployment benefits were intended to help to cushion the economic blow of losing a job during the pandemic, many Americans say they are receiving more now with their unemployment benefits than when they were working.
According to NPR, many workers have admitted that the expanded unemployment has played a role in their decisions on whether or not they want to return to their jobs.
While many workers may wish to continue receiving unemployment benefits, businesses are being encouraged to inform the government if employees refuse an offer to return to work, which could lead to their unemployment benefits being terminated.