More than 50 House progressives are pushing President Joe Biden to prioritize recurring direct checks instead of one-time payments in the next rescue package, upping the demands on Democratic leaders in their race to draft a bill.
The group of House Democrats, led by Representative Ilhan Omar, sent a letter to the Biden administration calling for regularly delivered checks through the end of the pandemic, rather than a single $1,400 payment that is likely to fall short of expenses like rent or mortgage payments.
America is the only industrialized nation in the world that has limited financial support during the coronavirus pandemic.
While Donald Trump said covid would magically go away and many supporters saw it as a hoax to unseat the disgraced president, the rest of the world financially incentivized its citizens to stay home. While Republicans balk at a one-time payment of $1400, America’s neighbor to the north, Canada, continues to send its citizens $1400 a month until the pandemic subsides.
“One more check is not enough,” progressives wrote in their letter to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The letter, which was also signed by Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — does not call for a specific dollar amount. But Omar and other progressives have been vocal in their support for monthly $2,000 checks.
White House and congressional officials are moving quickly to draft the next stimulus package, with Democrats working on legislation that would meet the broad outlines of Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal.
Biden’s proposal includes long-time priorities of the left, like a $15 minimum wage and a paid leave program — though it remains unclear if either can make it into the package given initial GOP resistance and certain procedural constraints if Democrats deploy budget reconciliation to evade a Senate filibuster.
Now progressives say Biden must also go further on stimulus checks, which remain overwhelmingly popular with the public despite resistance from the GOP’s deficit hawks as well as some Democrats.
“Recurring direct payments until the economy recovers will help ensure that people can meet their basic needs, provide racially equitable solutions, and shorten the length of the recession,” the letter reads.
The letter is endorsed by more than two dozen progressive groups, including Demand Progress, Indivisible, and the Universal Income Project.