Another big-spending expansion of the federal government’s recently passed bipartisan coronavirus relief package is now in the works this week on Capitol Hill.
According to a congressional news release, House Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill that would open up the historic $2.2 trillion CARES Act to provide a sizable majority of American families with a $2,000 per month universal basic income until the economy makes a full recovery from the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
Introduced by Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Ro Khanna of California, the Emergency Money for the People Act would grant eligibility for the payments to every American over the age of 16 with an income not exceeding $130,000 per year.
“The economic impact of this virus is unprecedented for our country,” Ryan said in a statement. “As millions of Americans file for unemployment week over week, we have to work quickly to patch the dam — and that means putting cash in the hands of hard-working families.”
“Now it’s time for Congress to get to work on the next step to provide relief for those who have been hardest hit in this pandemic,” the congressman added.
Folks are now receiving the cash payments we passed in the #CARESAct. But just one payment isn’t going to cut it. Congress needs to get to work to provide continued relief for those who have been hardest hit in this pandemic. ⬇️https://t.co/mwQrHAIPdQ
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) April 14, 2020
The legislative effort came the same day as many Americans were expected to receive individual $1,200 aid payments assured them by the CARES Act, The Washington Post reported.
Ryan and Khanna said the $250 billion funding stream opened this week to American families left furloughed or working from home throughout the pandemic would simply not be enough.
Instead, the Democratic legislators suggested, at least six months of substantially larger payments to each family would be necessary.
“A one-time, twelve hundred dollar check isn’t going to cut it,” Khanna said.
“Americans need sustained cash infusions for the duration of this crisis in order to come out on the other side alive, healthy, and ready to get back to work,” he continued.
“Members on both sides of the aisle are finally coming together around the idea of sending money out to people. Rep. Ryan and I are urging leadership to include this bill in the fourth COVID relief package to truly support the American working class.”
Under Ryan and Khanna’s proposal, married couples combining for an annual income of less than $260,000 would receive $4,000 per month. They would also receive a $500 credit for each child, not exceeding three children.
Dependents, including teenage children and citizens with disabilities, would also be eligible for payment.
— Andrew Yang??? (@AndrewYang) April 15, 2020
Prominent but low-polling former 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang, a known proponent for universal basic income, was quick to endorse the plan Wednesday on social media.
“Great stuff @TimRyan @RoKhanna $2,000 a month is the right approach,” Yang tweeted, adding a thumbs up emoji.
According to Ryan and Khanna’s statement, passage of the proposal would keep the $2,000 monthly payments flowing “until the employment to population ratio for people ages 16 and older is above 60%.”
No further details have been provided as to when and how monthly payments would be halted should economic recovery be slower than expected in light of the pandemic.
The Western Journal reached out to Ryan and Khanna’s offices for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
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