While the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act is one of the most expensive ideas put forward so far in the discussion of coronavirus relief, the push for more direct financial aid has been gaining support in Congress.
On Friday, Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Ed Markey introduced legislation to send $2,000 a month to Americans making under $100,000 a year, with an additional $2,000 per child up to three dependents.
Not counting children, the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act would send payments to at least 152 million Americans each month.
Harris said the bill is an acknowledgement that previous aid packages were not “nearly enough to meet the needs of this historic crisis.”
““A single check is not sufficient for households that are struggling during this health and economic crisis. Americans need more than just one payment,” Markey said in a statement.
“During this unprecedented crisis,” Sanders said, “Congress has a responsibility to make sure that every working-class household in America receives a $2,000 emergency payment a month for each family member.”
Politico published a discussion draft of the bill, which has similar eligibility guidelines to the CARES Act but with higher income limits. Joint filers under the income limit with three children would receive the maximum benefit of $10,000 per month, with $2,000 per adult and $6,000 for the children. Payments would be retroactive to March and would cease three months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares the public health crisis has ended.
While the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act is one of the most expensive ideas put forward so far in the discussion of coronavirus relief, the push for more direct financial aid to wage earners and their families has been gaining support in Congress. Last month in the House of Representatives, Democrats Ro Khanna of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act, which would provide a $2,000 monthly check to every American past age 16 earning less than $130,000 per year. House and Senate Democrats have proposed federal guarantees for workers’ salaries, and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley wants the government to subsidize payrolls to mitigate wholesale layoffs.
Trump has voiced opposition to any additional stimulus bills that do not include a payroll tax waiver, which cuts the amount paid into Social Security and Medicare and passes that increase on to the employer. The bill pushed by Harris, Sanders and Markey does not.