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House Democrats introduce a proposal to pay Americans $2,000 a month until economy recovers

Unlike the CARES Act, the new proposal also expands aid to include college students and adults with disabilities who are still claimed as a dependent.

House Democrats introduce a proposal to pay Americans $2,000 a month until economy recovers
Image Source: (L) Getty/ Rep. Ro Khanna - Photo by Chip Somodevilla (R) Getty/Rep. Tim Ryan - Photo by Zach Gibson

Although the 2 trillion dollar-bill passed by Congress to counteract the pandemic-induced economic decline could provide some respite to struggling Americans, it is quite obviously not a longterm solution to the crisis. With no indication as to how or when the economy can be safely reopened, providing a one-time stimulus payment—which could take months to reach some citizens—is akin to slapping a bandaid onto a stab wound. Two House Democrats have therefore put forward a much more ambitious proposal that would pay millions of Americans $2,000 a month until the economy bounces back to pre-pandemic levels.



According to The New York Post, the Emergency Money for the People Act proposed by Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Ro Khanna of California expands relief to more Americans. The new legislation reportedly addresses a number of blind spots of the CARES Act, by including college students and adults with disabilities in the qualifying criteria and suggesting different modes of payment for those without bank accounts to receive direct payments or homes to receive checks. Under this act, "monthly cash assistance payments would be guaranteed for at least six months and would continue until the employment to population ratio for people ages 16 and older is above 60%," states an official press release.



These monthly payments would also not be counted as income to protect an individual's eligibility for any of the income-based state or federal government assistance programs. Citizens can opt to receive their payments through direct deposits, checks, pre-paid debit cards, or mobile money platforms such as Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal. "The economic impact of this virus is unprecedented for our country. As millions of Americans file for unemployment week over week, we have to work quickly to patch the dam – and that means putting cash in the hands of hard-working families," said Congressman Ryan, a former presidential candidate.



"Many Ohioans are just receiving—or about to receive—the first cash payment we passed in the CARES Act. Now it’s time for Congress to get to work on the next step to provide relief for those who have been hardest hit in this pandemic," he added. Under the Emergency Money for the People Act, every American adult aged 16 and older who make less than $130,000 a year would be eligible to receive at least $2,000 per month. Meanwhile, for married couples earning less than $260,000, the monthly payment would be at least $4,000.



Qualifying families with children will receive an additional $500 per child, with each family receiving funds for up to three children. i.e. a married couple making under $260K a year with three kids would receive $5,500 per month. What if you don’t earn income or are unemployed? You would also be eligible for the payments. Those who weren't eligible for a stimulus check based on their 2018 or 2019 tax return, but would be eligible in 2020, can qualify by submitting at least two consecutive months of paychecks to verify income eligibility.



Unlike the CARES Act, the new proposal expands aid to include college students and adults with disabilities who are still claimed as a dependent. Such individuals would receive the monthly payment and their parent or guardian would receive the dependent credit. Speaking of the proposed legislation, Rep. Khanna said: "A one-time, twelve hundred dollar check isn’t going to cut it. Americans need sustained cash infusions for the duration of this crisis in order to come out on the other side alive, healthy, and ready to get back to work. Members on both sides of the aisle are finally coming together around the idea of sending money out to people. Rep. Ryan and I are urging leadership to include this bill in the fourth COVID relief package to truly support the American working class."


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