WASHINGTON — With the coronavirus pandemic sending unemployment in the U.S. to its highest rate since the Great Depression, three Senate Democrats have introduced a plan for Americans to receive $2,000 per month until this crisis ends.
On Friday, Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ed Markley (D-Mass) released their plan called the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act.
Under the plan, Americans who make less than $120,000 a year would receive a monthly $2,000 coronavirus stimulus check. Married couples would receive $4,000 and an extra $2,000 would be provided for each child up to three.
Harris said it's clear the $1,200 one-time check Americans received from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act "wasn't nearly enough to meet the needs of this historic crisis."
"Bills will continue to come in every single month during the pandemic and so should help from government," Harris said in a statement.
Sen. Sanders added that the "one-time $1,200 check that many Americans recently received is not nearly enough to pay the rent, put food on the table and make ends meet."
"If we can bail out large corporations, we can make sure that everyone in this country has enough income to pay for the basic necessities of life,” Sanders said.
What is the Monthly Economic Support Act?
The Monthly Economic Support Act would provide a monthly $2,000 check to Americans who make less than $120,000. There would be an additional $2,000 per child, for up to three children, and married couples who file jointly would receive $4,000.
The monthly checks would be retroactive to March and would continue until three months after the Health and Human Services Department has declared the public health emergency over.
The legislation would also forbid debt collectors from seizing the rebate and ensure homeless and foster children receive payments, according to Senator Harris.
How does it compare to the CARES Act checks?
Compared to the CARES Act, this proposal would provide monthly checks instead of just a one-time $1,200 payment.
This proposal would also increase the amount of extra money given per child from $500 to $2,000 per child, but it would max out at three children.
Wasn't there another $2,000 per month proposal?
Yes, a similar proposal for Americans to receive $2,000 per month was introduced last month in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).
Ryan said in April that the plan provides a chance to examine programs like universal basic income.
Under the proposal in the House, every American aged 16 and older making less than $130,000 annually would receive at least $2,000 per month. Married couples earning less than $260,000 would receive $4,000 per month. Families with children would get $500 per child per month for up to three children.
Those who are unemployed would also be eligible.
What are some other proposals for another stimulus plan?
There have been a handful of proposals pitching additional help for citizens and businesses dealing with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to the push for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks, other Democrats have called for rent and mortgage payments to be canceled nationwide during the pandemic and for a $100 billion fund to be set up to help with emergency rent relief.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for a cut to Social Security payroll taxes as a way to help the economy, but many lawmakers think the payroll tax cut is a bad idea because it only boosts paychecks but doesn't help people thrown out of a job.
Sen. Mitt Romney has proposed a so-called Patriot Pay that would be an additional $12 per hour of pay for essential frontline workers in May, June and July.