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Harris, Sanders, Markey propose $2,000 monthly payments amid coronavirus pandemic

A trio of senators is introducing legislation to provide $2,000 in monthly payments during, and in the immediate aftermath of, the coronavirus pandemic. 

The bill, from Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSix notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Harris lists out 'racist' actions by Trump in '60 minutes' interview: 'It all speaks for itself' Pence travel questioned after aides test positive MORE (D-Calif.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden All fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown The Memo: Five reasons why Trump could upset the odds MORE (I-Vt.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOcasio-Cortez says having Green New Deal would have helped handle COVID-19 pandemic OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill | Poll: Two-thirds of voters support Biden climate plan | Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes MORE (D-Mass.), would provide a $2,000 monthly payment to individuals who make up to $100,000 per year. The amount would then be scaled down until it hit an income cap of $120,000 per year for an individual, where it would be phased out altogether.

Under the bill, a $2,000 monthly payment would also be given per child, up to three children. The legislation would be retroactive to March, the same month President TrumpDonald John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE declared a national emergency, and would provide the monthly payments until three months after the administration ends the public health emergency.

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The push for additional payments comes after the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that passed Congress in March provided a $1,200 check for individuals who make up to $75,000. 

But senators argued that the one-time payment is not enough to assist people through the months-long pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the nation's economy.

"It’s clear that wasn’t nearly enough to meet the needs of this historic crisis. Bills will continue to come in every single month during the pandemic and so should help from government," Harris said in a statement. 

Sanders added that the direct assistance provided under the coronavirus package was "not nearly enough." 

“If we can bail out large corporations, we can make sure that everyone in this country has enough income to pay for the basic necessities of life," he said. 

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Though Republicans haven't signaled support for another round of checks — and have called for a "pause" before passing additional legislation — the idea of providing a monthly payment for the duration of the coronavirus has growing support among Democrats. House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBrown says Biden's first moves as president should be COVID relief, voting rights Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to positive tests among Pence aides Pelosi dismisses talk of White House compromise on stimulus: They 'keep moving the goal post' MORE (D-Calif.) and other lawmakers voiced support for the idea during a conference call this week, and Sanders has previously pitched a $2,000 monthly payment. 

“A single check is not sufficient for households that are struggling during this health and economic crisis. Americans need more than just one payment," Markey said. 

To help ensure that the payments go to every U.S. resident, the Treasury Department could use information from tax returns or information provided by other state and federal agencies. 

The bill would also prohibit the monthly payments from being seized by debt collectors amid reports and pushback from lawmakers that the one-time checks under the March coronavirus bill could be subjected to private debt collection. 

Harris led a letter last month urging Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinPelosi dismisses talk of White House compromise on stimulus: They 'keep moving the goal post' Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day Hillicon Valley: Treasury sanctions Russian group accused of targeting critical facilities | Appeals court rules Uber, Lyft must comply with labor laws | Biden: Countries that target US elections will 'pay a price' MORE to draft regulations that would prevent private debt collectors from being able to garnish the coronavirus payments.