WASHINGTON, D.C., May 8 – Today, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Friday introduced the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, legislation that provides a monthly $2,000 check to those struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic. As rent comes due and bills continue to pile up, Americans desperately need assistance to financially survive this crisis.
“As a result of this horrific pandemic, tens of millions of Americans are living in economic desperation not knowing where their next meal or paycheck will come from,” said Senator Sanders. “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. During this unprecedented crisis, Congress has a responsibility to make sure that every working-class household in America receives a $2,000 emergency payment a month for each family member. I am proud to be introducing legislation with Senators Harris and Markey to do exactly that. 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.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has caused millions to struggle to pay the bills or feed their families,” said Senator Harris. “The CARES Act gave Americans an important one-time payment, but it’s clear that 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. The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act will ensure families have the resources they need to make ends meet. I am eager to continue working with Senators Sanders and Markey as we push to pass this bill immediately.”
“A single check is not sufficient for households that are struggling during this health and economic crisis. Americans need more than just one payment. I am proud to join Senators Sanders and Harris in calling for recurring direct cash assistance so that Americans have the reassurance that this critical support will continue and that their government will support them. Providing recurring monthly payments is the most direct and efficient mechanism for delivering economic relief to those most vulnerable in this crisis, particularly low-income families, immigrant communities, and our gig and service workers,” said Senator Markey.
The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act is endorsed by Economic Security Project Action, Humanity Forward, Community Change Action, High Ground Institute, LatinxVoice, Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Income Movement, People’s Action, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Golden State Opportunity, MyPath, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Heartland Alliance, One Fair Wage, Caring Across Generations, End Child Poverty CA/The GRACE Institute, Coalition on Human Needs, Black to the Future Action Fund, ParentsTogether Action, RESULTS, and Forum for Youth Investment.
“As Congress considers the next relief package, $2000 monthly payments must be part of the equation,” said Natalie Foster, co-chair of Economic Security Project. “Alongside other important programs, cash payments give families an income floor so that no American is one missed paycheck away from living on the street. We’re glad that there’s growing support for direct payments both inside Congress and among the broader public.”
The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act:
—Provides a monthly $2,000 check to every individual with an income below $120,000 throughout and for three months following the coronavirus pandemic.
-Married couples who file jointly would receive $4,000.
-$2,000 per child up to three children
-Retroactive to March
Ensures that every U.S. resident receives a payment, regardless of whether or not they have filed a recent tax return or have a social security number.
-Uses the data from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income, (SSI), Medicare and housing assistance programs
—Forbids debt collectors from seizing the rebate payments.
—Ensures the homeless and foster youth receive payments.
Text of the bill can be found here.
A one-pager of the bill can be found here.