Second Stimulus Check: Republicans Considering Additional Unemployment Benefits Between $200 and $400 Per Week

As politicians continued to discuss plans for a second stimulus check, Republicans are said to be considering additional unemployment benefits between $200 and $400 per week. The benefits provided under the current bill — the CARES act — are set to expire at the end of July. According to the Washington Post, that GOP leaders are considering adding new funding, whereas they had previously been resistant to the idea.

Deadline points out the value of this by using California as an example. The maximum state unemployment payment a resident can receive is $450 per week, but there are many workers who get less. The current unemployment rate in California is almost 15 percent, and many businesses are being forced to close again, after Covid-19 cases began to spike once the state reopened. Two major industries affected by this in California are the live music industry and the film and TV production industries. Additional federal funds would supplement with what the state is able to provide, and help out-of-work citizens be able to afford things like food and rent costs.

While there are no official of confirmed details on what might be included in the next stimulus bill, Forbes reports that one new inclusion may be payroll tax cuts. This is something President Donald Trump has been pressing. "I told Steve [Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary] just today, we’re not doing anything unless we get a payroll tax cut," Trump said during a Fox News town hall in May. "That is so important to the success of our country."

The idea behind payroll tax cuts is to take less money from workers' paychecks, and less money from employers. Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst for the Tax Foundation, previously commented on the use of payroll tax cuts and expressed opposition to the effectiveness of the move. "When you do a temporary tax cut like what the White House is proposing, the literature generally finds there isn't a big effect on employment levels," Watson stated. "If you look at the 2009, 2 percentage points payroll tax cut under the Obama administration, the evidence bears out that most of that federal tax cut was saved by consumers."