- A group of US Senators is floating a new coronavirus relief proposal that includes a new stimulus check for most Americans — to be paid out every month, that is, until the coronavirus pandemic ends.
- The senators, including potential Joe Biden running mate Kamala Harris, want the government to pay out $2,000/month indefinitely to help people make it through the pandemic.
- This comes as another 1.5 million Americans filed for unemployment this week.
A potential running mate of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is among a group of US Senators proposing what might just be the most extreme legislative response yet to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic havoc it’s wreaked across the country. The idea being floated by Sen. Kamala Harris — along with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey — is to provide most Americans with a new stimulus check of $2,000 … not just the one check, though, but a $2,000 check every month until the coronavirus pandemic has run its course.
Now, before we go too much deeper into this, calling this a long shot proposal is an understatement of understatements. Forbes analyzed the price tag that would be associated with this proposal and found that it would require the federal government to pay out some $304 billion every month (on top of the rest of the federal budget).
This plan is still interesting, regardless, because there’s nothing that says it can’t be tweaked or massaged a bit into something more legislatively practical. The situation certainly calls for — something. As Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell explained to reporters this week, the coronavirus pandemic has essentially screwed the economy for years. Meanwhile, another 1.5 million workers in the US filed for unemployment this week, reiterating the scope of the pandemic’s consequences.
This idea of new stimulus checks is also not an academic exercise, never mind the impracticality of paying out a four-figure sum to Americans indefinitely. US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said in recent days that the Trump administration is receptive to the notion of more stimulus checks to follow up on the disbursements stemming from the $2.2 trillion coronavirus legislation that Congress passed back at the end of March. These were the payments that most of you should have received by now — totaling up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples.
The $2,000/month stimulus check proposal is meant to provide payments to anyone making less than $120,000 a year. The financial support would also continue until three months after the coronavirus pandemic is officially declared to be over, and there would be an extra $2,000 included for every dependent in a household regardless of how old they are. This stands in contrast to the preference of Republicans in Congress, though, who want future coronavirus-related stimulus to be more targeted and focused on the people who need it most.