Next Stimulus Package Could Be Worth $4,000, But You'll Have To Work For It

By Dave Basner

May 26, 2020

The global pandemic has devastated the economy. With unemployment numbers at their highest since the Great Depression, and most Americans having already blown through their $1,200 stimulus check, many people are calling on the government to give them more financial assistance.

The House of Representatives recently passed the HEROES Act, which would have answered that call, but the Senate won't be passing it. Instead, Congress is working on something that both the House and the Senate can agree on. Since some politicians feel that unemployment benefits are actually so good right now that people are incentivized not to work, they are looking for a different kind of proposal, and one that doesn't just give away money in a stimulus check. Now, a bipartisan proposal that takes all of that into consideration might be the one that gets passed.

It's called the Skills Renewal Act and instead of a stimulus check, it offers a fully-refundable $4,000 tax credit that covers the costs of training or retraining anyone with skills "expected to be in high demand by employers in the coming months." It was written by Republican Senators Tim Scott and Ben Sasse, as well as Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker.

It hopes that workers who lost their jobs because of COVID-19 get a two- or four-year college degree or a certification, an apprenticeship, or any other kind of training - even if it is an online class. This way, when they look for a new job, they will be seen as more valuable and likely get paid more than they were making in their last position. While this could be valuable once a person gets re-employed, for Americans who are currently struggling to pay bills, a refundable tax credit for learning more won't be very helpful.

For those wanting to off-set costs of learning new skills, if the proposal passes, they will have until the end of 2021 to do it. Because of it's support on both sides of the aisle, it seems to be a frontrunner as far as stimulus ideas go. No word on if another true stimulus check will also pass though.

Photo: Getty Images

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