Americans could get $2,000 a month until economy recovers from coronavirus

'A one-time, twelve hundred dollar check isn’t going to cut it ... Americans need sustained cash infusions for the duration of this crisis'

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Wednesday 15 April 2020 17:37 BST
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Under legislation introduced by two Democrat congressmen, Americans over the age of 16 would receive $2,000 per month for at least six months as part of the federal government's economic response to the coronavirus.

The Emergency Money for the People Act would provide emergency cash payments and fix an exclusion in the CARES Act, ensuring that college students and adults with disabilities also qualify, even if claimed as a dependent on tax returns.

Introduced by Representatives Tim Ryan of Ohio and Ro Khanna of California, payments would also be available through a wider variety of channels to ensure those without bank accounts or permanent home addresses can also receive money.

Mr Ryan and Mr Khanna proposed the first cash payment plan a month ago, which was embraced by both the Trump administration and the Senate, and passed into law as part of the CARES Act.

The congressmen hope their plan will be included in the fourth Covid-19 relief package.

Every American adult aged 16 and older would be eligible for $2,000 per month provided they make less than $130,000 annually. Married couples earning less than $260,000 would receive at least $4,000 per month. Qualifying families with children will receive an additional $500 per child for up to three children.

Those who had no earnings, were unemployed, or are currently unemployed would also be eligible. Those who were not eligible in 2019 or 2018 but would be eligible in 2020, could submit at least two consecutive months of paychecks to verify income eligibility.

“The economic impact of this virus is unprecedented for our country. 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,” said Congressman Ryan.

“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,” he added.

Referring to the initial payments from the CARES Act, Congressman Khanna said: “A one-time, twelve hundred dollar check isn’t going to cut it.

“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. Members on both sides of the aisle are finally coming together around the idea of sending money out to people,” he added.

Payments will continue for six months or until employment returns to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels — an employment to population ratio for people aged 16 and older of more than 60 per cent. Payments will not count as income to protect an individual's eligibility for income-based state or federal assistance programs.

Mr Khanna is also calling for universal paid medical and sick leave, expanding Medicare to all those who are unemployed, and a moratorium on rent, mortgages, evictions and utility shutoffs.

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