Kudlow Says Extra Jobless Payments Will End as Planned in July

(Bloomberg News/TNS) -
U.S. Director of the Economic Council Larry Kudlow. (Reuters/Al Drago/File)

The $600-a-week bonus payments made to some Americans laid off during the coronavirus pandemic will end as planned in July, said White House economic director Larry Kudlow.

Congress in March approved the extra money on top of state unemployment payments as part of its coronavirus relief efforts.

In some cases, the top-up payments plus regular unemployment checks add up to more than workers had earned at their jobs, creating a “disincentive” to return to work, Kudlow said on CNN.

“We are on our way, we are reopening, and businesses are coming back, and therefore jobs are coming back, and we don’t want to interfere with that process,” he said. “At the margins, incentives do matter.”

President Donald Trump is looking at a measure that would be a bonus to return to work, Kudlow said, without offering specifics.

Kudlow defended a Trump administration decision to not disclose details about companies that received billions of dollars in taxpayer funds through a high-profile federal coronavirus-relief initiative.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the move, which reversed earlier guidance. “I don’t think it’s necessary” to make the details public, Kudlow said.