Tlaib, Jayapal Introduce Groundbreaking Bill to Deliver Universal Recurring Payments for COVID-19 Relief
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-7) unveiled the Automatic BOOST to Communities (ABC) Act, legislation to immediately provide a $2,000 payment using BOOST debit cards to every person in America as critical relief during the COVID-19 crisis, followed by $1,000 recurring monthly payments for one year after the end of the crisis to help our country and families recover. The ABC Act would be funded directly from the Treasury with no additional debt issued by minting two $1 trillion coins, and additional coins as necessary.
The ABC Act would also uplift unbanked and underbanked communities by creating a buffer for people who have seen their costs of living rise for decades as their wages have stagnated. Unlike a payroll tax cut, which would do little to benefit our most vulnerable workers, the ABC Act would put real money in the pockets of people across the country.
“Real people, not corporations need to be at the center of any legislative relief effort to combat the harms caused by this global pandemic. Too many of our workers, low-income people and families across the country were instantly impacted and we need to have an aggressive and inclusive financial assistance program,” said Congresswoman Tlaib. “This means we need to help our neighbors pay their bills, purchase groceries, and other quality of life needs. The ABC Act is designed to help cushion these blows during and after this global health crisis while chipping away at economic inequality in our society during the pandemic.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated working people and small businesses for more than two months and will continue to do so for several more. A one-time relief check simply isn’t enough to get people through this crisis,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “The ABC Act provides immediate relief to those in need – regardless of their immigration status – and ensures that relief lasts the duration of the pandemic. We’re in an unprecedented public health and economic crisis and the American people desperately need Congress to take this bold action.”
According to polling released by Data for Progress and the Justice Collaborative Institute, there is strong bipartisan support among people in the country for payments on a recurring basis, with 66% of the public preferring recurring payments of $2,000 until a year after the President declares an end to the federal state of emergency. The poll also revealed that a majority of voters, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, support financing recurring UBI payments by instructing the U.S. Treasury to issue two trillion dollars of new currency.
Congresswoman Tlaib recently led 57 members of Congress in a bicameral push for including recurring payments as part of Congress’s next economic response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Automatic BOOST for Communities Act has been praised by organizations and legal experts.
“The ABC Act exercises the Treasury Secretary's exclusive legal authority over coinage in order to establish a true money-financed fiscal program, in the process avoiding any need to issue public debt,” said Rohan Grey, Assistant Professor of Law, Willamette University. “By using "fiscal money for fiscal policy," the #ABCAct restores the U.S. Mint to its rightful historical place as a primary institutional mechanism for budgetary finance.”
“Even before this crisis, a large number of Americans had no financial cushion. We need payments that are bigger, regular and last until the economy recovers,” said Adam Ruben, director of Economic Security Project Action. “This bill from Congresswomen Tlaib and Jayapal to give Americans monthly $2000 payments would ensure millions of families staring at hardship right now don’t fall into poverty.”
“The Automatic Boost to Communities Act is the kind of policy that Americans dealing with this unprecedented crisis need from Congress,” said Charles Khan, organizing director for the Strong Economy for All Coalition. “It provides vital cash assistance on an ongoing basis at the scale, and speed that is necessary to respond to this ongoing crisis, and most importantly, it provides help to everyone who needs it. The CARES act stimulus checks left out millions of people, mostly the poor and immigrant families, that puts the entire country at risk of worsening the health and economic crisis related to COVID19. At the Strong Economy For All Coalition we are encouraged to see policies like this that center communities most in need and we'll continue to fight to ensure these policies are adopted by Congress.”
“During this dangerous COVID-19 outbreak, everyone facing the stiff economic consequences of the pandemic deserves a basic safety net to protect themselves and their families from needless suffering and economic ruin,” said Eric Rodriguez, Senior Vice President, Policy and Advocacy of UnidosUS. “I applaud this practical, inclusive solution that would allow everyone, regardless of income or immigration status, to live in safety and dignity until the crisis is safely behind us. The better we weather this storm together right now, the quicker we’ll return to work and get our economy humming and communities thriving again.”
The bill is also co-sponsored by Jesús G. “Chuy” García [IL-04]; Alcee Hastings [FL-20]; Eleanor Holmes Norton [District of Columbia]; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [NY-14]; Ilhan Omar [MN-05]; Ayanna Pressley [MA-07]; Bobby Rush [IL-01]; Jan Schakowsky [IL-09]; and Nydia Velázquez [NY-07].
The bill is endorsed by Economic Security Project Action, UnidosUs, Strong Economy For All, Americans for Financial Reform, Demand Progress, and the Jain Family Institute.