Stimulus update: Progressives propose bill guaranteeing monthly $1,200 payments

A bill for a guaranteed income program proposed by progressive Democrats in Congress is calling for ongoing $1,200 monthly stimulus checks for adults plus $600 for each child in the household.

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The program, called the Sending Unconditional Payments to People Overcoming Resistances to Triumph (SUPPORT) Act, was introduced in the U.S. House by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, and co-sponsored by Reps. Cori Bush, D-Missouri, Dwight Evans D-Pennsylvania, Jamaal Bowman D, New York, and Pramila Jayapal D-California.

“Poverty is a choice. For too long we have prioritized endless growth while millions are homeless, hungry or without healthcare” Omar said in a news release about the bill.

“The pandemic has laid bare these inequalities. We as a nation have the ability to make sure everyone has their basic needs like food, housing and healthcare met.”

The legislation would set up a $2.5 billion grand fund that would pay for a pilot program that would run from 2023 to 2027 and pay $1,200 monthly for adults and $600 monthly for each child in the home.

Different communities would be involved in the pilot program for the first five years, then the program would become available to every American who qualifies, plus any undocumented immigrant, in 2028.

While the legislation is a proposal, Congressional Republican leaders have signaled they have no appetite for another round of stimulus spending.

“I can’t imagine the economy is going to need a fourth round,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in April. “This economy is poised to boom. People have been cooped up for a year — it’s going to take off like a rocket, and it doesn’t need any assistance from borrowed money and higher taxes.”

The White House has not indicated it would put forth a call for another round of stimulus checks nor support a guaranteed income program.

According to the proposed legislation, single filing adults with adjusted gross income (AGI) of up to $75,000, jointly filing adults with incomes up to $150,000, and those filing as head of household with an AGI of up to $112,000 would be eligible for the maximum amount monthly.

A family of four with two children being younger than age 18 and a yearly income under $150,000 would be eligible for $3,600 a month.

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