Congress is expected to debate a Phase 4 stimulus package next month. Many economists say additional action is needed to keep jobless people afloat since unemployment remains in the double-digits. Three plans under consideration are stimulus checks, extra unemployment payments, and hiring bonuses. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Congress is expected to debate another economic relief package next month — and lawmakers are starting to roll out their ideas for what direction it should take. So far, Congress and President Donald Trump approved over $3 trillion in emergency spending to confront the coronavirus pandemic and manage its economic fallout. The biggest chunk of that came in March from the CARES Act, a $2 trillion relief package that pumped cash into every corner of the American economy. For individuals, it had two pillars: a wave of one-time, $1,200 stimulus checks and a $600 federal boost to weekly unemployment payouts that shored up people's finances during an economic collapse. Now Congress is looking at three measures that could provide financial relief and add extra cash into people's bank accounts. Here are all the details. Read more: Jefferies says buy these 14 cheap stocks that are financially strong and positioned for market-beating returnsLawmakers are weighing another round of stimulus checks.
Trump supports sending another wave of stimulus checks, The Washington Post reported. However, White House advisers and Republican lawmakers are deeply divided, and there are still no specifics on possible amounts or thresholds for eligibility. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin opened the door to a second round earlier this month. But National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said the administration might push to send checks to "people who lost their jobs and are most in need." There are significant rifts among congressional Republicans as well. Many don't believe it's needed to boost the economy, but some lawmakers have signaled they are open to the idea if it's a targeted measure. Read more: The stock market's fear gauge is sending a persistent warning that has a 30-year track record of signaling meltdowns ahead Under the CARES Act, $1,200 stimulus checks were sent to individuals earning under $75,000 a year ($150,000 for couples), plus an extra $500 for dependent children. Payments phased out at $99,000 for single-filers and $198,000 for couples. A new bill from Sen. Marco Rubio introduced Thursday would give mixed-status families with unauthorized immigrants a $1,200 stimulus check. Over 159 million Americans had received direct payments by the beginning of June, per the IRS. Read more: From a late-night infomercial to a 1,040-unit empire worth $188 million, how Jacob Blackett perfected his real-estate-investing strategy after losing $70,000 on his first deals An extension of boosted unemployment payments is also under consideration.
Democrats are seeking to extend the $600 federal boost to unemployment benefits through January 2021. It's currently set to expire on July 31. But many Republicans argue that amount should either be phased out or lowered so workers don't earn more on unemployment than they were making at their old jobs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that five out of six recipients would get more money from the government than from their previous employer if the supplement was extended through the end of the year. Unemployment, though, is projected to remain in the double-digits for much of the year, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve. A group of top bipartisan economists recently called on Congress to extend the federal boost to weekly unemployment payments past July for up to $400, but tie it to the economic health of individual states. Read more: A market-crash expert known as 'Dr. Doom' warns a 10-year depression is coming — and says investors are far too confident about a possible recovery Republicans are pushing for a "back to work" bonus up to $1,200.
Several Republicans rolled out proposals for a hiring bonus, arguing it would be effective to get people off unemployment rolls and returned to work. Rep. Kevin Brady introduced a plan for a $1,200 bonus, which is equivalent to a jobless person collecting two weeks of expanded unemployment benefits. Another bill from Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio puts the bonus at $450 for up to six weeks. "The $600 was necessary, in my view, to get us started in this, but now we have a situation where the economy is starting to reopen, people are looking for workers," Portman said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing earlier this month. Read more: The chief strategist of $2.5 trillion State Street recommends 7 ETFs for investors looking to profit from a permanently altered post-coronavirus landscape
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A top House Republican criticized the $400 weekly federal unemployment benefit in the White House stimulus plan, saying the GOP doesn't want 'wasteful spending'
Summary List Placement Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas — the ranking Republican on the tax-writing House...Summary List Placement Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas — the ranking Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee — was critical of elements within the White House's stimulus proposal on Thursday, including a $400 weekly federal unemployment benefit. During an interview with Fox Business, Brady said many Republicans are reluctant to back a stimulus plan with a big price tag. "The worry is: 'How much wasteful spending will we have to swallow to do this?" Brady said, adding he wanted the federal government to prioritize spending on thwarting the coronavirus and aiding the jobless. But he expressed concern that a $400 federal supplement to state unemployment checks would disincentivize people from seeking work, arguing many would earn more out of work than on the job as a result. It's a claim often made by Republicans about the economic impact of the $600 federal unemployment benefit that expired in late July. Numerous studies show it didn't keep jobless people out of the workforce. Brady said "targeted help" was needed, particularly to airlines moving ahead with layoffs and the restaurant industry. Read more: BlackRock's investment chief breaks down why Congress passing a second round of fiscal stimulus is 'quite serious' for markets and the economy — and pinpoints which sectors will benefit in either scenario House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi are pressing for a $2.2 trillion stimulus plan. It includes a $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit, another wave of $1,200 stimulus checks, and aid to cash-strapped states and small businesses. Meanwhile, the White House put forward a $1.6 trillion virus aid proposal containing many of the same measures, but lower spending amounts. Brady's remarks underscore the opposition to significant federal spending among GOP lawmakers. Many in the GOP say they're opposed to stimulus plans since it would grow the federal debt. Lawmakers have approved over $3 trillion in federal aid since the pandemic began devastating the economy in the spring. Negotiations between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi stretched into their fifth day on Thursday. The California Democrat assailed the White House's proposal in a Bloomberg TV interview. "This isn't half a loaf. What they're offering is the heel of the loaf... and you really can't just say, well, just take this," she said. Read more: Stimulus talks press on as dealmakers push for another boost to unemployment payments. Here's everything you need to know about the rescue package.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet