As individuals across the country return to work, Congress and the White House have started to debate a "return-to-work bonus." The Washington Post reports that the idea of a $450 weekly bonus has been suggested as an incentive to get people back to work, and Trump has reportedly expressed his support for the initiative.
Talks have continued regarding the idea, especially when it comes to how large and frequent the bonus should be. Eight lawmakers and staffers close to the situation have said that discussion has also centered on how long the bonus should be in place. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio proposed the idea, with the intention of encouraging people who have been collecting unemployment to start working again.
People who would stop collecting unemployment would get $450 for several weeks, Portman suggested. Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, meanwhile, has floated the idea of giving workers a $1,200 bonus if they find a job, three sources confirmed. Republican lawmakers have made it clear they believe the increase in unemployment benefits, which was approved by Congress in March, could lead to workers staying home out of choice and might increase unemployment numbers.
"We’ve got to reward individuals for coming back to work. That’s point number one. There will be some kind of reemployment bonus," Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday on Fox & Friends. It has been suggested that the idea is gaining a lot of traction among lawmakers, but some have also expressed concern that it will send people who should be staying home back to work too soon.