As the fate of further economic impact payments remains hanging in limbo, Sen. Edward J. Markey is calling for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks to be given to Americans through the remainder of the coronavirus pandemic. Joined by Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Markey has officially introduced the Monthly Crisis Support Act, which would provide more than $600 billion every month to American households — an amount, nearly double the previously introduced CARES Act.
If passed, the new stimulus relief package would provide direct cash payments of $2,000 per month to individuals earning under $120,000 per year. It would also extend eligibility to other groups as well, including $2,000 for up to three dependents per family, regardless of their age. Both the homeless and foster youth would also receive payments. The payments would continue throughout the pandemic and "until three months after" it ends. In a Boston Globe op-ed, Markey explained that the bill would come with a safety net, preventing debt collectors from seizing the stimulus payments.
"Providing recurring monthly payments is the most direct and efficient mechanism for delivering economic relief to those most vulnerable in this crisis, particularly low-income families, immigrant communities, and our gig and service workers," Markey wrote in the op-ed. "Payments under our proposal would provide nearly $600 billion per month to American households, more than twice as much as the CARES Act. When 40 percent of households making less than $40,000 a year have lost their jobs during this crisis, the question is not about whether America can afford to do this. The question is whether we can afford not to."
At this time, it remains unclear if Americans should expect to receive further stimulus payments. Although all 50 states have begun to lift their lockdowns, unemployment levels still sit at record highs, something that many lawmakers have used to argue for continued payments. In recent testimony, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told lawmakers that the nation's economy will likely need more help to get back on its feet. He added that "we're going to seriously look at whether we want to do more direct money to stimulate the economy" and that "this is going to be about getting people back to work."
Recent reports have suggested that a second stimulus check could be passed in July. According to CNET, congressional leaders intend to start work on a proposed second financial package at that time. It has been suggested by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the next stimulus relief package will be the "final" one.