DENVER — Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, along with fellow Senate Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Cory Booker of New Jersey, unveiled a plan Tuesday that would send thousands of dollars to working-class Americans fiscally impacted by the effects of COVID-19.
The plan comes a day after Gov. Jared Polis’ news conference concerning the precautionary measures Colorado is taking to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, many Coloradans lost their jobs due to temporary closures in their industries.
The state is just a small-scale example of what’s happening nationwide — vital parts of the U.S. economy have started to shut down in response to the pandemic.
Bennet, Brown and Booker sent their proposal to Senate party leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, calling for a $2,000 payment to be sent to every American, intended to ease the “economic shock” resulting from the coronavirus. The initial payment would be followed by subsequent payments — $1,500 if the U.S. is still in a public health emergency in July, and $1,000 if the emergency persists until October. In total, the proposal calls for up to $4,500 per person.
The payments would stop only after the unemployment rates drop to a difference less than 0.5% of the U.S. unemployment rate before coronavirus.
Per Bennet's office, payments would be "phased out" for "higher-income taxpayers," but exact numbers were not provided.
In order for the proposal to pass — and for payments to be sent — the House and Senate have to approve it, where it will be sent to President Donald Trump for final approval.
Similarly, to endure the national economic downturn caused by the virus, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Senate Republicans Tuesday with a White House proposal. The proposal asked for a $1 trillion economic package, with $250,000 of it reserved for direct payments that would be sent to working-class Americans.
According to the White House, if Congress backs the proposal, individuals can receive the proposed emergency checks as soon as late April.
Without the help of additional stimulus measures in response to the crisis, Mnuchin warned the senators that the unemployment rate could skyrocket as high as 20%.
The ideation for emergency payments to households surfaced on both sides of the aisle as of late, with Republican Sen. Mitt Romney calling for a $1,000 payment to every American. Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota similarly proposed giving $1,000 to adults and $500 to children.
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