Since the coronavirus struck our shores, my focus has been on keeping Americans safe and ensuring working people don’t get left behind. Their struggles today are greater than ever. Too many have suffered job losses, shrinking income, isolation, and health issues — all while caring for children and other loved ones.
The one-time $1,200 stimulus check that many Americans are now receiving under the CARES Act was a good start, but it does not go far enough as this quarantine enters its second month. Rent is still due, credit card bills keep coming in, utilities still need to be paid, our phone plans haven’t gotten cheaper, we still need to buy groceries to feed our families. How far do politicians think one $1,200 check can stretch?
Every American age 16 and older who earns less $130,000 per year will receive this money.
That is why Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) and I introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act, which will provide almost every American $2,000 per month until employment levels reach pre-coronavirus levels. Every American age 16 and older who earns less $130,000 per year will receive this money tax-free.
Congress recently passed three different bills in response to the coronavirus. They included trillions of dollars of assistance for individuals and businesses, and while I supported all three, we immediately started noticing that many of Rep. Khanna’s constituents in Silicon Valley and my constituents in Youngstown, Ohio were still falling through the cracks.
I spoke to a woman who is low-income and receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI); she takes care of five other people in her home, yet was not eligible for the $1,200 check. I heard from a constituent on disability who has custody of her children, but the $1,200 check went to her former spouse. I talked to a college freshman living by himself, independent of his parents, but he did not qualify for any assistance.