- Ten US senators are calling for President Joe Biden to support regular direct payments.
- It would be a big change, as past rounds of relief payments have been negotiated one by one.
- The proposal is likely to face opposition from Democratic moderates and the GOP.
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A group of Democratic senators is calling for President Joe Biden to support regular direct payments to low-income Americans while the US economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to the president calling for the measure, they wrote: “This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.”
“Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions.”
Previous stimulus-check plans have always dealt in single payments. Under President Donald Trump, payments for $1,200 and $600 were approved for most American adults.
Biden and congressional Democrats are advancing legislation for a third payment of $1,400 as part of a wider $1.9 trillion relief plan.
The proposal in the letter would shift such payments from one-off payments to repeating ones, though it did not specify amounts or how often they would come. Any such plan is sure to face significant opposition.
The letter was signed by two of the Senate’s most prominent left-leaning liberals, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent senator who caucuses with Democrats.
Sanders is chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. He was joined by Sen. Ron Wyden, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, the chairman of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.
Here is the full list:
- Ron Wyden of Oregon
- Cory Booker of New Jersey
- Sherrod Brown of Ohio
- Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
- Bernie Sanders of Vermont
- Alex Padilla of California
- Michael Bennet of Colorado
- Ed Markey of Massachusetts
- Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin
- Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
The letter was issued with Biden’s $1.9 trillion bill still moving through the Senate. The letter wants recurring checks to be implemented after the existing stimulus is passed.
The proposal is likely to face opposition from moderate Democrats, some of whom have expressed concern about the size of Biden’s relief bill. Republicans have also taken issue with past direct payments and would most likely object to recurring ones.
Democratic proposals for higher direct payments have been popular with voters and were prominent issues during the two US Senate runoffs in Georgia this year, when Democrats took back control of the Senate from Republicans.