Kamala Harris made a “final pitch” for $2,000 a month second stimulus checks before Congress debates the new stimulus package next week.
Here’s what you need to know.
Second Stimulus Checks
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), appearing on MSNBC, reiterated her support for a recurring $2,000 a month second stimulus check.
“Together, with Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, I’m proposing that we have not just that one-time check of $1,200,” Harris told MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “Through the course of this pandemic and crisis, we need to give people $2,000 a month as recurrent payments—people below a certain income level—to help them and sustain them through these months of crisis so at the end of it, they can get back up on their feet instead of falling deep deep deep into the crevices of this crisis. And, it does not make any sense, to your point, when we have Republicans in Congress who are standing in the way of supporting working people who have recently lost their jobs—[and] have every intention of working—when we can get through this crisis and [they] just need help from their government.”
$2,000 a month second stimulus checks
Harris, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which would:
- Give up to $2,000 a month to anyone earning up to $120,000 per year.
- The monthly payment begins to phase out starting at $100,000 per year.
- Married couples who file jointly would receive up to $4,000.
- You can receive $2,000 for each dependent (maximum three dependents).
- The legislation would be retroactive to March 2020.
- Every U.S. resident can receive payment, regardless if they file taxes or have a Social Security number.
- The payments would last until three months after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This proposed legislation is not the first call for monthly stimulus checks. For example, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang proposed $1,000 a month for every U.S. citizen 18 and older — forever. Billionaire entrepreneur and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban proposed giving Americans $1,000 every two weeks. Interestingly, the Heroes Act — the $3 trillion stimulus package passed by the House of Representatives — did not include a monthly stimulus check.
New stimulus package may be introduced this week
The new stimulus package may be introduced this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is expected to present draft stimulus legislation when Congress returns from recess on Monday. The new stimulus is expected to include second stimulus checks or some form of direct payment. The amount of second stimulus checks and eligibility criteria are still unclear. For example, it’s possible that the second stimulus check is less than $1,200, which was the maximum amount of the first stimulus check. It’s also possible that second stimulus checks may only be available to Americans who earn up to $40,000 a year. However, Democrats will oppose limiting second stimulus checks to Americans who earn up to $40,000 a year. In comparison, under the Cares Act, the first stimulus checks were provided to Americans who earned up to $99,000 of adjusted gross income. Despite a final pitch from Harris, McConnell’s proposed legislation won’t include a $2,000 a month second stimulus check and is unlikely to include any recurring monthly second stimulus check. Why? McConnell’s new stimulus bill is expected to be around $1.3 trillion, which is less than half of the Heroes Act. McConnell is wary of the several trillion dollars Congress already has authorized for prior economic stimuli, and he believes that monthly stimulus checks are too expensive. While McConnell support a second stimulus check, Republicans — who control the Senate — don’t support monthly stimulus checks.