California Sen. Kamala Harris made what she called her "final pitch" for a $2,000 per month stimulus check program this week. Harris introduced the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act to the United States Senate back in May — along with Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Ed Markey — and she wants to revisit it as the Senate begins debating a new stimulus package in the coming week. Harris appeared on MSNBC to make her case.
"Together, with Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, I'm proposing that we have not just that one-time check of $1,200," the senator said. "Through the course of this pandemic and crisis, we need to give people $2,000 a month as recurrent payments—people below a certain income level—to help them and sustain them through these months of crisis so at the end of it, they can get back up on their feet instead of falling deep deep deep into the crevices of this crisis."
"And, it does not make any sense, to your point, when we have Republicans in Congress who are standing in the way of supporting working people who have recently lost their jobs—[and] have every intention of working—when we can get through this crisis and [they] just need help from their government," Harris concluded.
Harris, Sanders and Markey's proposal came to the Senate around the same time that Rep. Ro Khanna and Rep. Tim Ryan brought a similar idea to the U.S. Congress. In the end, Congress passed Speaker Nancy Pelosi's HEROES Act instead, although the Senate has ignored that bill so far. That leaves Harris an opening to vie for the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act one more time.
The bill would provide a monthly stimulus check to anyone earning $120,000 per month or less until three months after the coronavirus pandemic is officially over. The checks would be worth up to $2,000 per person and would begin decreasing in value at an income threshold of $100,000 per year.
Under this plan, all U.S. residents would be eligible, regardless of whether they file taxes or even have a social security number. The bill would also be retroactive back to March 2020, meaning that if it passed, Americans would immediately receive up to $10,000.
Still, the Senate is fighting back hard against even another one-time stimulus check plan, so Harris' bill is going to be an even more difficult idea to sell there. In other countries around the world, monthly economic relief plans have been common during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by Business Insider. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that in the U.S., the next stimulus package will be the last he agrees to pass.