House Democrats unveiled their latest pandemic relief package Tuesday proposing $3 trillion for a progressive wishlist. The bill allocates money to long-advocated programs featuring an extension of exorbitantly high payments in unemployment insurance keeping it more profitable for workers to remain on government assistance rather than a full-time employer.
Titled the “Heroes Entering Roles Of Education Service (HEROES) Act,” House Democrats are proposing a six month extension of the beefed up benefits from the CARES Act passed in March which spiked federal unemployment insurance with $600 a week on top of whatever the state already provides with no cap on earnings.
The heightened benefits have allowed many workers to rake in far more from the government handout than they were previously making in full-time employment. This poses problems for employers that qualified for low-interest loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to rehire staff in order for the loan to be forgiven.
New numbers from the Department of Labor released last week show the United States reaching record unemployment levels not seen since the Great Depression nearing 15 percent. More than 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in just seven weeks.
According to a study from the conservative Heritage Foundation, Congress likely inflated American unemployment by nearly 14 million after providing the clear incentives to seek government insurance by spiking benefits with loosened eligibility requirements making it easier for individuals to make claims by having “quit his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19” verified only by self-assertion.
According to the pair of Heritage economists, the median full-time American worker earning $48,000 a year would take home 15 percent more from unemployment than remaining in their full-time gig. That means many individuals raking in government benefits are also bringing in more money than essential workers.
Pelosi’s bill in the House would now keep these benefits intact which are due to expire by the end of July.