Coronavirus: Are people in US getting a monthly $2,000 stimulus payment?
Introduced in April, the Emergency Money for the People Act seeks a $2,000 monthly stimulus payment to help people in America deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has sent out 128.3 million stimulus payments totalling $218.4 billion in a bid to help people in America cope with the effect of the coronavirus crisis on the economy, with the loss of 20.5 million jobs leaving the country's unemployment rate at 14.7% - a level not seen in the US since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Second round of payments "under consideration" - Trump
For many in the States, however, this cash injection will only get them so far. Indeed, 63% of respondents to a survey conducted by SimplyWise in April said they would be needing a second stimulus check within three months.
With this in mind, White House reporters have asked Donald Trump whether there will be another round of checks - and the US president has not ruled out the idea, telling one press briefing: “It is absolutely under consideration. We could very well do a second round of direct payments.”
Emergency Money for the People Act seeks $2,000 monthly payments
Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill in congress in April that would give every qualifying American over the age of 16 a stimulus payment of up to $2,000 each month for up to a year, plus an extra $500 for families with up to three children. (What should I do if I receive too much or too little?)
If the Emergency Money for the People Act became law, the $2,000 monthly payments would be guaranteed for at least six months. They would then be renewed for another six months, unless the employment-to-population ratio for people aged 16 and older returns to the pre-coronavirus employment level of 60%. These payments would not count as income, so they would not affect your eligibility for any income-based federal or state-government assistance programs.
Who would be eligible for this $2,000 payment?
Eligibility for the $2,000 monthly payments under the Emergency Money for the People Act would be much broader than for the current CARES Act stimulus payments. To qualify for the monthly payments under the bill, you would have to:
- Be a citizen or resident of the United States.
- Be at least 16 years old as of 1 January, 2020.
- Earn less than $130,000 a year
Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act
Another similar proposal that is earning Democratic support is the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act. Put forward by Senator Kamala Harris, with Senators Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, it would involve monthly checks of $2,000 up until three months after the pandemic ends.
"People in hell want ice water too"
While Democratics are convinced further checks are necessary, however, many Republicans remain less won over by such proposals. "Well, people in hell want ice water too," said Senator John Kennedy (R-La) when asked about the plans, while Steve Scalise reportedly called any strategy for monthly payments a “radical socialist” idea.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said the focus should be on reopening the economy, not another round of checks. "The real stimulus that’s going to change the trajectory that we're on is going to be the economy, not government checks,” Graham said. “So I doubt there will be another payment.”
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