Senate

GOP Sen. Cotton calls for monthly cash payments to Americans during coronavirus pandemic

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said Monday he wants to give monthly checks to low-income and middle-class Americans so they can afford necessities during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Let’s cut out employers as the middle men and get relief to people not in weeks but in days,” Cotton wrote in a Medium post outlining his proposals for a Senate bill. “We should send relief directly to American families most likely to be in need — those in the bottom and middle tax brackets — to pay for rent, groceries, childcare, and other necessary expenses, as well as to spend at local businesses that are hurting during this crisis.”

Cotton, who knocked the House-passed coronavirus response bill as too complicated, suggested the money could come from tax rebates or through unemployment agencies.

It’s unclear how much money he wants to give Americans in their monthly checks, but according to Business Insider, he proposed $1,000 per adult or $4,000 for a family of four. His office told Business Insider that he has not settled on a hard number.

The Hill has reached out to Cotton’s office for comment. 

“Giving relief directly to Americans is a better solution than complicated sick-leave policies or payroll tax cuts, and will be more certain to go to the kinds of hourly- or gig-workers who need it most,” Cotton argued in his proposal.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for some form of a temporary monthly universal basic income as people across the country face job loss or are out of work because they are being asked to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Cotton joins Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who earlier Monday called for giving every adult American $1,000 in a single, one-time payment to address coronavirus. A $1,000 monthly income was also proposed by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

The stock market had its second-worst day in history Monday, with the Dow plunging a whopping 3,000 points as President Trump acknowledged that the U.S. “may be” heading into a recession and that the spread of the coronavirus could continue through July or August

Tags Americans check Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Mitt Romney Money Tom Cotton Tulsi Gabbard UBI Universal Basic Income

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