Stimulus check: Progressives call for monthly direct payments, not one-time $1,400 check

Progressives call for monthly direct payments, not one-time $1,400 check

A group of more than 50 progressive representatives in the U.S. House is asking President Joe Biden to go further when it comes to direct payments, pushing for the president to call for a monthly stimulus payment instead of a one-time $1,400 check.

The group, led by Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, asked Biden in a letter for a recurring monthly payment that would last until the COVID-19 pandemic ended, Politico reported.

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The letter did not state a specific amount for the recurring payment, only that a one-time $1,400 payment “would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities.”

According to the letter, the group is asking that recurring cash payments from any COVID-19 relief package:

  • Continue until the economy recovers with equal payments to adults and dependents.
  • Go to all immigrant workers, refugees, and their families.
  • Include older dependents such as disabled and elderly dependents and those over the age of 16 still claimed as dependents.

The House is working on another stimulus package that Biden’s administration says will include a $1,400 direct stimulus payment, enhanced federal unemployment benefits and money to cash-strapped cities and states.

The “American Rescue Plan,” has a $1.9 trillion price tag that includes a one-time $1,400 direct payments for Americans.

Omar, who is the Congressional Progressive Caucus whip, said earlier this week that she and others were “circulating a letter to Biden” to urge him to prioritize the recurring payments.

A bipartisan group of legislators has pushed back on the plan to send out a third stimulus check, saying a $1,400 direct payment should be more targeted.

The group of 16 senators, led by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, held a Zoom call with Biden administration members on Sunday, urging the administration to reserve the payments for low-income Americans.

“I was the first to raise that issue, but there seemed to be a lot of agreement…that those payments need to be more targeted,” Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said Sunday.

“I would say that it was not clear to me how the administration came up with its $1.9 trillion figure for the package.”

The $600 direct payment approved in December and sent out the first weeks of January came at the cost of $167 billion, according to the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service.

A check for $1,400 that would bring the total to $2,000 would cost around $464 billion, according to an estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation.