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Brady’s Return to Work Bonus Proposal Gains Steam

June 03, 2020

Recently, Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2020. The proposal was first discussed publicly during interviews with Maria Bartiromo in early May, as well as during a presentation to the Ripon Society.

The legislation helps Main Street businesses rebuild their workforces by turning unemployment benefits into a back-to-work bonus of $1,200 – or two weeks of unemployment benefits – that will provide a bump to workers and help accelerate our economic recovery.

As Rep. Brady said when the bill was introduced, “we need these workers.”

“Unless we can reconnect these workers with these Main Street businesses soon, that business may no longer be there” the Texas Republican said. “This proposal is an important part in preventing a prolonged recession.”

Rep. Kevin Brady discussed his proposal to incentivize Americans to return to work on CNBC 

Here is what people are saying about the legislation so far:

Business Insider: A new Republican bill would give people a $1,200 hiring bonus for going back to work after coronavirus lockdowns

Under the proposal, workers would be eligible to get the cash, which is equivalent to an unemployed person collecting two weeks of ramped-up unemployment benefits. The $600 federal boost in payments is set to expire on July 31.

Brady, the top Republican on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, said the plan represented an “important part in preventing a prolonged recession.”

The Hill: House Republican offers bill to create ‘return to work bonus’

“We need these workers. Unless we can reconnect these workers with these Main Street businesses soon, that business may no longer be there,” he added. “This proposal is an important part in preventing a prolonged recession.”

The bill comes as Democrats and Republicans are divided over the increase to unemployment benefits as states begin to lift restrictions on businesses that were enacted to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

Many Democrats want the $600 increase to weekly unemployment benefits to be extended past July, arguing that many people will still be unemployed and need assistance when the current increased benefits expire. But Republicans are worried that the increased benefits are discouraging people from going back to work because some are now receiving more in unemployment benefits than they were in wages before they lost their jobs.

Fox Business: Unemployed Americans would receive $1,200 back-to-work bonus under new Republican bill

Brady’s bill could receive the backing of the Trump administration: Last week, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow endorsed a back-to-work bonus for unemployed Americans returning to their jobs — an alternative to the extra $600-a-week in unemployment benefits supported by most Democrats.

“We’ve got to reward individuals for coming back to work,” Kudlow said during a “Fox & Friends” interview. “There will be some kind of re-employment bonus. We’re not going to go to the $600, that’s a disincentive to work.”

Washington Post: White House, Congress discuss ‘return to work’ bonus of $450 a week

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has proposed that the federal government give people who stop collecting unemployment and go back to work $450 a week for several weeks. Others, including White House officials and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), have discussed allowing workers to get up to $1,200 if they find a job, according to three people familiar with White House discussions and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Republican lawmakers have repeatedly expressed concern that the increase in unemployment benefits approved by Congress in March rewards workers for staying home and could lead to increased unemployment.

The Fiscal Times: $1,200 Checks? $450 Bonuses? The Latest on the Next Coronavirus Lifeline

Discussions are reportedly ongoing about how big the bonus should be and how long it should last. Some White House officials and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) have discussed allowing returning workers to get up to $1,200.

AP: Congress eyes extending $600 unemployment bonus as deadline nears

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, are promoting a plan … for laid-off workers who return to their jobs, as a “back to work” bonus.

Newsmax: Rep. Brady: Return-to-Work Bonus Needed to Bring Back Workforce

A return-to-work bonus that allows workers to keep $1,200, or 2 weeks of their $600 in extra unemployment payments, when returning to work makes “good economic sense,” Rep. Kevin Brady said Friday, who along with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has proposed the effort.

“It made sense to give people because we knew so many businesses were shut down,” the Texas Republican said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There was no choice that there was going to be temporary unemployment. We think the focus ought to be making sure these 40 million Americans aren’t permanently unemployed.”

Politico: MORNING TAX: Driving the day

Brady’s bill would give workers $1,200, or an extra two weeks of unemployment insurance, for heading back to the job. It’s an idea he’s been talking about for awhile, and one that seems to be gaining momentum among Republicans.

BGR: New coronavirus stimulus plan would pay you $1,200 to go to work

The new idea comes from legislation introduced by Rep. Kevin Brady, the ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives, and it simply includes the following: Under his proposal, workers would be eligible for a $1,200 return-to-work bonus as an incentive to get employers and the economy moving again.

“Through a Return To Work Bonus — which would allow workers to keep up to two weeks of unemployment benefits if they accept a job offer — we can make sure these temporary job losses don’t turn into permanent ones,” Brady said in a press release by way of explaining his idea.

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