Stimulus Update: $5,000 Social Security Loan Being Considered

After the federal government issued one round of economic impact statements, there are reportedly more discussions going on regarding potential additional stimulus payments. According to a new report from the Washington Post, senior White House officials are reportedly exploring a proposal that would allow Americans to receive $5,000 in exchange for a delay of their Social Security benefits. The proposal was originally floated by two conservative scholars, Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute and Joshua Ruah of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. This news comes after the White House and Congress previously agreed to a $2 trillion stimulus package, which entitled eligible Americans to a one-time payment of $1,200 (or $2,400 for married couples filing a joint tax return).

The Washington Post reported that senior officials within the Trump administration have discussed the "Eagle Plan," which calls for an overhaul of various federal retirement programs in exchange for upfront payments to some workers amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The plan could even potentially grant Americans $10,000 upfront in exchange for a delay of their retirement benefits such as Social Security. The Washington Post obtained a copy of the plan, which says that its first page was written by Paul Touw, a chief strategy officer to U.S. State Department undersecretary Keith Krach, whose duties notably don't include matters relating to domestic policy. The outlet noted that Krach is close to Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law who is also a senior advisor to the president.

The publication reported that the White House has already rejected this plan, per three administration officials. They also reported that it has not even been presented to Trump for review. While the State Department declined to comment on this "Eagle Plan," Hogan Gidley, a spokesperson for the White House, did address the matter. In his statement, he said that the president would not support this plan or any others that would potentially cut retirement benefits. Gidley said, “The mere thought of this so-called ‘plan’ is ludicrous on its face. President Trump has been clear that while he is in office, the American people can feel secure without a shadow of a doubt that he will completely protect Social Security and Medicare — end of story, full stop.”

Even though this plan may not come to fruition, there are four other specific plans that are being floated around Congress that would potentially grant Americans additional payments amidst this health crisis. The Emergency Money for the People Act, the Getting Back to Work Act, the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, and an unnamed proposal from Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio have all been discussed. Although, it should be noted that none of these acts have made it through the entire legislative process just yet.