White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump's administration is looking carefully at a potential "back to work bonus" to encourage Americans who had been laid off as the coronavirus pandemic spread to return to work.
“It’s something we’re looking at very carefully,” he said Tuesday during an interview on Fox Business News, referring to a proposal by Sen. Rob Portman,R., Ohio, to provide a temporary $450-a-week bonus for unemployed workers returning to work, on top of their wages.
Kudlow also said he does not think Congress will approve another $600 per week in extra jobless benefits to laid-off workers in a future coronavirus relief legislation, calling such a move “a major disincentive to go back to work.”
As for the economy, the U.S. is approaching a “turning-zone phase,” the veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan adviser.
“These signs are showing a lot more glimmers of hope and growth and the signs seem to be mounting,” he said, the Wall Street Journal reported.
President Trump wants to see the U.S. economy reopen as fast as possible from the coronavirus lockdown, but stressed that stay-at-home guidelines need to be rolled back in a "safe way," said Kudlow, who worked as Reagan’s budget deputy between 1981 and 1985.
"The president has certainly noted it, and he wants to see the economy reopen as rapidly as possible, but it's got to be done in a safe way," said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic adviser. "It's hard for me to make a judgment."
Kudlow's comments come on the heels of a Wall Street Journal editorial that found states opening most slowly are big states run by Democrats that represent roughly one-third of the nation's economy.
It's been close to 10 weeks since the Democratic governors of California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois ordered all nonessential businesses in their states to close to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As a result of the severe restrictions, job losses in these states have been especially severe, Fox Business Network explained.
Kudlow said he's spoken with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, both Democrats, about their economies reopening. New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
"The level of cooperation has been good. And that's very positive. And they've acknowledged that," he said. "So yeah, I'd like to see them open up as fast as possible, but it's gotta be done safely."
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