Even before many Americans have received the latest round of cash doled out by Congress and the Biden administration, some lawmakers are calling for recurring payments until the economy fully recovers from COVID-19.
A letter calling for recurring stimulus checks signed by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota along with 52 others argues something needs to be done to help non-white Americans in particular.
“Worsening systemic inequities, such as food insecurity and housing instability, are most severe for Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities, who are suffering higher infection and mortality rates of COVID-19 and higher unemployment levels, compared to white Americans,” the letter said.
$2,000 recurring checks until the pandemic is over
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) January 2, 2021
The letter said that the first round of payments — when the CARES Act dished out $2,000 checks — “was used very quickly, with lower-income individuals spending more than forty percent of their payments within the first ten days. As aid ran out, up to eight million people, disproportionately Black and Latino adults and children, were forced into poverty.”
It’s time to show you the money! 💸
Just did an IG live to answer your questions on the COVID package. We talked stimulus checks, child checks, UI, funeral reimbursement & more.
Some of you are going to get more money than you think!
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 12, 2021
“The stunning financial crisis for those at the bottom of the income ladder demands massive relief to those who need it most. 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,” the letter said.
“As we look at the coming year, another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities. One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis. Many families cannot afford to wait for 8 months between payments.”
"More direct stimulus payments are certainly possible,” says Peter Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research. https://t.co/yclEsjKTvb
— Grow (@Grow_mag) March 23, 2021
“To truly build back better, families need stability and certainty through ongoing relief – they cannot be at the mercy of Congressional gridlock,” the letter stated.
Democratic Reps. Jamaal Bowman of New York; Cori Bush of Missouri; David Cicilline of Rhode Island; Pramila Jayapal of Washington; Ro Khanna of California; Ted Lieu of California; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; Jamie Raskin of Maryland; and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan were among the signers.
A separate letter from 11 Senate Democrats called for more money beyond the American Rescue Plan’s $1,400 direct payments.
The letter offered a similar rationale — that if families know there is a steady stream of federal cash coming, they can better plan for how to spend it.
“Automatic stabilizers will give families certainty that more relief is coming, allowing them to make the best decisions about how to spend their relief payments as they receive them,” the Senate letter said.
Why do prisoners need stimulus checks?
Every Democrat in the Senate voted to spend $1.9 billion sending $1,400 stimulus checks to prisoners.
Prisoners can’t stimulate the economy and don’t pay taxes. Taxpayers already pay for everything they need.
Stop the fiscal insanity!
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) March 21, 2021
“Families shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’ll have enough money to pay for essentials in the months ahead as the country continues to fight a global pandemic. Almost six in ten people say the $1,400 payments set to be included in the rescue package will last them less than three months,” the letter said.
Signers of the letter included Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon; Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Cory Booker of New Jersey; Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont also signed the letter.