WASHINGTON (CBS) — Sen. Ed Markey, of Massachusetts, is teaming up with Senators Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders to propose a significant increase to the support Americans are getting from the federal government during the coronavirus pandemic. They’re introducing legislation that would send a $2,000 monthly check to United States residents making less than $120,000 a year.
The payments would go out every month of the pandemic, retroactive to March, and continue for three months after it ends. The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act would also provide $2,000 per child a month, up to three children.
“A single check is not sufficient for households that are struggling during this health and economic crisis. Americans need more than just one payment,” Markey said in a statement. “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.”
Direct and recurring monthly payments to all people—including their children—will protect and lift up the most vulnerable during this crisis, especially immigrants, low-income families, and gig economy workers. https://t.co/HlxGZf6TJg
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) May 8, 2020
Qualified residents would get a monthly check regardless of whether they have a social security number or if they’ve filed a recent tax return.
“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,” Harris said. “Bills will continue to come in every single month during the pandemic and so should help from government.”
The legislation would prohibit debt collectors from seizing the payments and make sure the homeless and youth in foster care get the money.
“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,” Sanders said. “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 bill faces an uphill battle in Congress. According to CNN, fewer Republican senators have voiced support for monthly payments.
CBS News reports that millions of Americans are still waiting for their payments that went out on April 10.