Second Stimulus Check Could Be a Back-to-Work Bonus

There have been numerous proposals and ideas floating around regarding the topic of a second stimulus package for the country. The latest plan involves a "Back-To-Work" bonus that could be implemented in place of enhanced unemployment benefits. According to both CNBC and Forbes, many Republican lawmakers are in support of such a proposal.

CNBC reported that President Donald Trump's administration is looking to end enhanced unemployment benefits in lieu of a new policy. Americans who have been receiving unemployment amidst the coronavirus pandemic have received an additional $600 per week as outlined in relief legislation that the government enacted in March. Those payments are due to end after July 31. But, the Trump administration wishes to put an end to those payments in exchange for a possible new "Back-To-Work" policy. Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, told CNN in mid-June, "The president is looking at a reform measure that would still provide some kind of bonus for returning to work, but it will not be as large, and it will create an incentive to work."

Neither Kudlow nor the Trump administration has shared what this "Back-To -Work" policy may entail. However, there are a couple of proposals floating around Congress at the moment on this subject. A proposal from Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio would replace those $600 checks with interim payments of $450 for those who return to work. They would receive $450 on top of their job's wages. Additionally, Republican Representative Kevin Brady of Texas has a proposal that would allow workers who accept a job offer to keep two weeks' worth of enhanced unemployment benefits. Brady said that this concept would be akin to a $1,200 "hiring bonus," as individuals would typically lose those benefits. It should be noted that both Brady and Portman's plans each have a July 31 end date, which is the same expiration date for those aforementioned enhanced unemployment benefits. When it comes to Democrats, they are looking to extend those benefits and have even passed a bill in the House of Representatives that would continue them through early 2021.

Of course, this discussion surrounding a possible "Back-To-Work" benefit comes amidst growing controversy surrounding an additional stimulus plan. As of right now, there is currently no plan in place to enact another stimulus package in the country (the White House and Congress originally agreed to their historic $2 trillion stimulus package in March). Lately, Trump and various Republican lawmakers have seemingly warmed to the idea of enacting another stimulus package, as Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin told Republican senators during lunch on Capitol Hill in June that additional economic impact payments are "one of the things we're discussing."