Senators Propose $2,000 Checks For Duration of Virus Crisis

May 8, 2020 Updated: May 8, 2020

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) announced a draft bill Friday that would provide monthly relief checks to American families of up to $2,000.

The bill, called the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act (pdf), proposes to give individuals $2,000 and married couples who file taxes jointly $4,000 per month. The size of the check would gradually phase out starting at $150,000 “in the case of a head of household,” at $200,000 “in the case of a joint return,” and at $100,000 in the case of taxpayers not falling into either of those two categories.

It also proposes to give an additional $2,000 for each dependent child up to a maximum of three.

“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,” Sanders said in a statement, as cited by Politico.

Harris said the bill seeks to address the situation that relief aid passed by Congress so far is not “nearly enough to meet the needs of this historic crisis,” referring to the economic fallout caused by the CCP virus outbreak.

sanders hits harris
(L) Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at the Coyote Run Farm in Iowa on Aug. 11, 2019. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) (R) Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) gives a speech at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 11, 2019. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Markey called the proposed direct relief to American families “the most direct and efficient mechanism for delivering economic relief to those most vulnerable.”

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Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 23, 2015. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)

Other features of the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act include provisions that would block debt collectors from seizing relief payments from people in debt.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.

Trump signs the CARES act
President Donald Trump signs the CARES act, a $2.2 trillion rescue package to provide economic relief amid the CCP virus outbreak, at the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

The day Trump signed the bill into law, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called it “the largest economic relief package in history for hardworking Americans and businesses that, through no fault of their own, have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.”

Delivering over $2 trillion in economic relief, the package includes direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses.

Harris, in a statement cited by CNN, said the CARES stimulus package was an important step but insufficient to meet the needs of families hit by the outbreak.

“The coronavirus pandemic has caused millions to struggle to pay the bills or feed their families,” Harris said.

The new draft bill may face opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, as historically, few GOP lawmakers have supported continued monthly payments.

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