California Sen. Kamala Harris has been named the Vice Presidential candidate in Joe Biden's 2020 campaign, putting even more scrutiny on her recent legislative work — particularly when it comes to stimulus checks. Harris has favored extravagant economic relief packages, even co-writing a $2,000 per month stimulus check plan with Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Ed Markey. She has continued to introduce or advocate for other plans at the same time over the last few months.
Harris, Sanders and Markey introduced the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act to the United States Senate back in May — long before Biden confirmed she is his running mate for his presidential campaign. The plan would provide a stimulus check worth up to $2,000 to eligible Americans every month until at least three months after the coronavirus pandemic is officially over. The plan is also retroactive back to March, meaning that if it were to be passed now, many Americans would receive $10,000 in stimulus money to start. The plan has been called impractical and too expensive by many analysts, and many treat it simply as a barometer of how far away other proposals are from meeting the real needs of unemployed Americans.
The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act is still technically on the table, although it is not under serious consideration. Meanwhile, last month Harris introduced another new economic stimulus bill called the ent Emergencies Leave Impacts on Evicted Families Act — or, RELIEF Act. The bill would attempt to stop evictions and foreclosures in the U.S. altogether for a full year, and prevent utility companies from turning off access to electricity, water or gas.
The RELIEF Act would prohibit landlords from raising rent, and prevent negative credit reporting. It would provide new legal protections for renters and borrowers, with heavy government oversight on landlords, mortgage servicers and lenders.
"Too many families were already fighting to keep a roof over their heads before the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now on the brink of a housing and homelessness crisis, but this administration has failed to address the financial hardship Americans are facing," Harris said in a statement on her website. "Housing is a human right, and that's why we need this comprehensive plan to help keep Americans safe and in their homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic."
So far, Harris has mostly been associated with mortgage and rent relief, and monthly stimulus checks during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has said little about the more mainstream proposals in the works, such as the HEALS Act or the HEROES Act. Some of Harris' stances in these areas differ greatly from those of her new running mate.