While Congress gets set for a fight over President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, some Democratic lawmakers are pushing for a much bigger response.
Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and more than 50 Democratic lawmakers are pushing the Biden administration to give out a monthly $2,000 stimulus payment until the coronavirus pandemic ends.
The group, which includes all four members of The Squad, Cori Bush (D-Mo.) Richie Torres (D-NY), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), and Tim Ryan (D-OH) sent a letter the lawmakers sent to the Biden–Harris administration, urging them to back the policy.
“The stunning financial crisis for those at the bottom of the income ladder demands
massive relief to those who need it most,” the letter states. “Recurring direct payments until the economy recovers will help ensure that people can meet their basic needs, provide racially equitable solutions, and
shorten the length of the recession.”
It’s no secret that low- and middle-income workers are still struggling. Unemployment has dropped and two rounds of stimulus checks have been distributed. However, millions of low-income Americans and those in industries wrecked by the pandemic are still struggling.
Millions of Americans are still unable to pay rent and bills, are using community fridges and food pantries for nightly meals, and don’t have health insurance.
The letter didn’t include a dollar amount, but Rep. Omar tweeted her support for recurring $2,000 checks for “those who need it most and will spend it the quickest,” as well as include “all immigrant workers, refugees, and their families.”
Omar also wants to include older dependents, those over 16 who are claimed as dependents and those who were excluded from the two checks that were distributed.
Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package will provide $1,400 stimulus checks as well as money for states, schools, coronavirus testing, and vaccine distribution. The bill is backed by a group of more than 120 economists.
“Unfortunately, the steps taken by the previous administration and Congress were not enough to help families and businesses weather the storm, nor for our nation’s economy to fully recover,” the group wrote in a letter. “While the COVID relief package passed at the end of 2020 was better than nothing, it was too little and too late to address the enormity of the deteriorating situation. The modest increase in unemployment insurance, paltry direct stimulus checks to families, minimal rental assistance, and absence of aid to state and local governments have severely blunted the impact of the legislation.”
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