Stimulus Controls Update: Progressive lawmakers propose bill calling for monthly payments of $1,200. This is what you need to know – Community News
Stimulus Check

Stimulus Controls Update: Progressive lawmakers propose bill calling for monthly payments of $1,200. This is what you need to know

While the third round of stimulus checks was signed by President Joe Biden in March, millions of Americans have received these payments in the past five months.

While many Americans are still struggling financially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the easily transferable Delta variant has forced US cities to re-add restrictions, which some fear will see the company shut down — leaving a yet already lagging economy is being harmed. That’s why progressive lawmakers and Americans continue to push for continued stimulus.

Minnesota Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar and other Democrats took the latest leap by pushing for continued stimulus for struggling Americans. Omar recently proposed in the US House the Sending Unconditional Payments to People Overcoming Resistance to Triumph (SUPPORT) and the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) Act in the US House. In the proposed bill, the SUPPORT Act provides for a guaranteed income program of up to $1,200 per month and $600 for children per month.

“Poverty is a choice. For too long we have prioritized endless growth while millions are homeless, hungry or without healthcare,” Omar said in the press release. “The pandemic has exposed these inequalities. We as a nation have the ability to ensure that everyone can meet their basic needs such as food, housing and healthcare.”

She added: “Building on successful pilot programs in my home state of Minnesota, I am proud to introduce a guaranteed income that will put money straight into the pockets of Minnesotans, and introduce a holistic economic measure that will ensure that our economy is focused on the long-term prosperity of Minnesotans and Americans everywhere. The world needs new economic indicators and economic policies that prioritize and encourage truly sustainable and equitable growth. It is time we become the leaders in measuring and securing the economic well-being of our people, starting with both bills.”

If the SUPPORT Act is passed, the entire program would be worth $2.5 billion, lasting from 2023 to 2027. The bill reads:

Sending unconditional payments to those overcoming resistance to triumph (SUPPORT) would be a critical step in making guaranteed income a local and national priority. The bill would create a new office in the Treasury Department to administer and coordinate guaranteed income policies at the federal level. The Office of Guaranteed Income Programs, overseen by the Secretary of the Treasury, would be responsible for overseeing a $2.5 billion grant program to fund local income pilots organized by local governments and community development financial institutions. After considering the findings, results and best practices of these pilots, the federal government should implement a national guaranteed income program. This national program would follow these basic requirements:

• Set up a guaranteed income tax credit to pay US residents over 18 at least up to $1,200 per month and dependent children up to half that amount per month

o Phase-out starts at Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) above $75,000 for single taxpayers, at AGI above $150,000 for joint taxpayer filings, and at AGI above $112,500 for householders

o Payments are phased out with a credit of $5 for every $100

• Establish an integrated FedAccounts and Postal Banking system for eligible unbanked, underpaid and individuals experiencing housing instability to receive payments

Under the proposed bill, each eligible individual would receive $14,400 per year (1,200 per month) or $28,800 per year ($2,400 per month) for eligible couples or two-adult households. Here’s who qualify:

• Adults who apply with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $0 to $75,000, while adults with incomes from $0 to $150,000 jointly qualify for the maximum amount

• After these maximum thresholds, payments are phased out at a rate of $5 for every $100 of additional income, fully phased out at $100,000 (single) AGI, $200,000 (joint) AGI and $150,000 (Head of Household) AGI

• To give an example of this formula with dependents: a married joint filing couple with 2 children would disappear completely at around $220,000

• As this phase-out structure is a reflection of the CARES Act, there is no dependent ceiling

While the guaranteed income program’s monthly payments are not called stimulus checks, Omar acknowledged that the bill was inspired by the stimulus checks deposited to millions of Americans during the pandemic.

The bill reads: “The silver lining during COVID-19 has been for the federal and local governments to recognize the urgency and effectiveness in delivering resources directly to struggling Americans. Under Republican and Democratic administrations, Congress authorized more than $800 billion in survival checks to millions of Americans, including those with no earned income. These aid payments have actually reduced poverty and strengthened our economy through increased consumer spending during one of the worst recessions in recent history.”

There is reportedly no word yet from the White House whether the Biden administration yet supports the bill. Also, emergency aid would not begin until 2023, while millions are still struggling today.

Progressive lawmakers — such as Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — continue to push for immediate relief with a fourth round of stimulus checks and/or recurring payments. A petition pushing for recurring payments has more than 2.7 million signatures as of publication, hoping to soon reach the 3 million milestone of becoming a top petition on the platform.

Hence, hopes of a fourth stimulus check are still in the air as more petitions and bills surface.