Press Releases

Crenshaw Proposes Bill to Help Unemployed Americans Return to Work

Legislation Aims to Fix Work Disincentive in Recent Coronavirus Relief Package

Washington, May 11, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) is introducing new legislation that aims to help Americans who have been laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Crenshaw’s legislation – the Jump-Start the American Economy Act – incentivizes unemployed Americans to return to work by giving states the flexibility to continue unemployment compensation of $600 per week if the employee returns to their job.

The legislation is intended to fix the work disincentive created under the CARES Act coronavirus relief package signed into law in March. The CARES Act provided an extra $600 per week for unemployment, putting workers in a difficult position of facing a reduction in income if they return to work before the expiration of the benefit. 

“Millions of Americans are filing for unemployment every single week and the last thing we want to do is to put them in a difficult position where they would be better off not working. Keeping employees attached to their employer during this pandemic is essential to reviving our economy. Americans should not be worried that returning to work will put them in a worse financial position than remaining unemployed. By allowing returning workers to keep some benefits through July 31st, my bill will help get people back on their feet and help get America back to work,” said Crenshaw.

Click here for legislative text of the draft bill.

Background:

  • The Crenshaw bill would fix the work disincentive created under the CARES Act by giving states the option to implement a Reemployment Support Benefit (RSB) under Section 2104(b) of the Cares Act (Public Law 116-136), which includes the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefit.

  • Under the RSB, states would use existing funds to continue to give each reemployed worker the $600 per week for up to six weeks. 

  • This program would expire on July 31 along with the FPUC.

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