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Booker reintroduces bill to give all newborns $1,000 savings accounts

Booker reintroduces bill to give all newborns $1,000 savings accounts
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerCongressional Black Caucus members post selfie celebrating first WH visit in four years Black lawmakers press Biden on agenda at White House meeting The first Southern state legalizes marijuana — what it means nationally MORE (D-N.J.) this week reintroduced his “Baby Bonds” bill, legislation that would give every U.S. child an interest-bearing savings account at birth, starting with $1,000 in an attempt to reverse rising economic inequality.

The accounts would be administered by the Treasury Department and achieve roughly 3 percent interest. Every year, up to $2,000 would be deposited into each child’s account depending on total family income until the recipient turns 18.

The nest-egg would be available for account holders in adulthood to buy a home, pay for education or start a business.

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“Baby Bonds will start to level the playing field,” Booker said. “In a country as wealthy as ours, every person should have access to economic opportunity and the chance to build assets and create wealth."

Booker, a former Democratic presidential hopeful, first introduced the bill two years ago, but it went nowhere in the last Congress.

The program would cost roughly $60 billion if implemented in 2019, a Booker aide told The Hill in 2018, and would be funded by increasing the capital gains tax rate by 4.2 points, increasing the estate tax to its 2009 level and raising taxes on multimillion-dollar inheritances. 

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This year, Booker is teaming up with Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyFDA ends restrictions on mailing abortion pills during pandemic Tlaib: US policing 'intentionally racist,' can't be reformed Pelosi's advice for the 'Squad': 'You're not a one-person show' MORE (D-Mass.) to lead a parallel effort in the House.

“The racial wealth gap in my district and across the country is stark and only getting worse, exacerbating inequities and denying far too many people of color an opportunity to thrive,” said Pressley. “These disparities are the direct result of generations of policy violence exacted against Black and brown communities, so we must be every bit as intentional in advancing policies that center racial and economic justice – policies like Baby Bonds."

Booker’s bill now also has 15 Senate co-sponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHolder, Yates lead letter backing Biden pick for Civil Rights Division at DOJ Capitol Police officer killed in car attack lies in honor in Capitol Rotunda Rep. Andy Kim on Asian hate: 'I've never felt this level of fear' MORE (D-N.Y.)

“Giving our youngest Americans and their working parents an economic opportunity like baby bonds would deliver strong economic relief and mark an investment in our collective future,” Schumer said in a statement.