Coronavirus

Second stimulus check: A universal basic income of $2,000, the new Democratic proposal

Many Americans are still struggling economically due to the coronavirus pandemic and the first round of stimulus checks appears to be insufficient for many to get through these tough times.

Second stimulus check: A universal basic income of $2,000, the new Democratic proposal
Lucas Jackson REUTERS

The IRS said on Wednesday that they have sent over 150 million stimulus payments worth up to $1,200 per individual under the auspices of the CARES Act, with the direct payments intended to help hard-working Americans through the coronavirus pandemic. But many are saying that one stimulus payment is not enough, and although many states are reopening their economies amid the outbreak giving opportunities for workers, a host of Americans are backing a second round of checks.

The Democrat-dominated House of Representatives approved the HEROES Act, a bill that, among other measures, would provide for a second round of stimulus payments to the people in the United States, but that bill is almost certainly not going to be approved in its current form in the Republican-led Senate.

President Trump however has said he is open to the idea of sending a second round of checks, but has made it clear that it is not a priority right now.

Although Trump said that the month of May had started strongly, with the economy adding 2.5 million jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 13.3% from the level of 14.7% in April,  in total more than 40 million people have filed for unemployment since the outbreak started.

Democrats and Republicans are on a different page regarding coronavirus stimulus aid

With the HEROES Act effectively stalled, some Republicans have pushed for $450 a week in-so-called-back-to-work bonuses and others are pushing to extend the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits for the rest of the year because right now that is set to expire at the end of July.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are considering even more generous proposals, including sending eligible Americans $2,000 per month until January 2021. On Monday Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said she likes the idea of giving Americans a universal basic income to help them financially through the coronavirus pandemic.

Harris, alongside other Senators, proposed a bill this month that would give $2,000 per month to people making under $120,000, plus $2,000 per child for up to three children.

The problem is not, however, a lack of proposals, rather it is Democrats and Republicans coming up with stimulus ideas both parties can get behind. RIght now, it appears clear that it will need at least a few more weeks for Congress to come up with a bill that the Republicans and Democrats both approve.