Covid bill revives return to work argument


Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

$600 a week

When Congress issued a $600-a-week boost to unemployment benefits in the spring, as part of the CARES Act, the backlash was swift and fierce.

The goal of the infusion, coupled with typical state benefits, was to fully replace lost wages for the average worker — almost $1,000 a week. (Typical state benefits generally replace half of lost wages.)

But many workers, mostly those with lower pay, earned more while unemployed than at work.

Many conservative lawmakers lambasted the policy as a disincentive to return to work. Such a dynamic would hold back the economy from a quick rebound, they argued.

Democrats argued the enhancement was a…


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