SPONSORED:

Harris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill

Harris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill
© Greg Nash

A group of more than 50 Democratic lawmakers on Thursday urged congressional leaders to include monthly direct payments in a fourth coronavirus response bill, saying that doing so would be particularly helpful for low-income people.

"Providing recurring monthly payments is the most efficient mechanism for delivering economic relief to those most at-risk in this crisis, particularly low-income communities, gig and service workers, and our immigrant neighbors," the lawmakers wrote in a letter.

The lawmakers who took the lead on the letter include Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris pushes for support for cities in coronavirus relief package This week: Senate takes up coronavirus relief after minimum wage setback Brown vows Democrats will 'find a way' to raise minimum wage MORE (D-Calif.), a former presidential candidate, and prominent freshman progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBiden officials urge patience on immigration amid border surge Clinton: Allegations against Cuomo 'raise serious questions,' deserve probe Ocasio-Cortez: wage only 'socialist' to those in 'dystopian capitalist nightmare' MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibProgressives push White House to overturn wage ruling Six ways to visualize a divided America Jamaal Bowman's mother dies of COVID-19: 'I share her legacy with all of you' MORE (D-Mich.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPressley says image of Black custodial staff cleaning up Capitol after Jan. 6 riot 'haunts' her DeJoy apologizes for mail delays while defending Postal Service changes DeJoy set for grilling by House Oversight panel MORE (D-Mass.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarProgressives push White House to overturn wage ruling Mehdi Hasan gets MSNBC Sunday prime-time show Six ways to visualize a divided America MORE (D-Minn.).

ADVERTISEMENT

The letter is the latest in a growing push from many Democrats for additional cash payments for Americans.

The third coronavirus package, which President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend MORE signed into law late last month and is known as the CARES Act, includes one-time direct payments to many Americans of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. Lawmakers have expressed interest in pursuing additional legislation, but the timing and contents of that measure have yet to be determined.

The Democrats who signed the letter said that "the inclusion of direct assistance in the CARES Act was an important first step, but we must provide workers and families with relief that actually matches the need and scale of this economic and health crisis."

The lawmakers said that many people didn't have enough money to cover unexpected expenses even before the coronavirus pandemic and that low-income people don't have the resources to prepare and protect themselves.

"It is important that we lift-up 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," the lawmakers wrote. "Providing recurring payments to everyone in America would help cushion the blows of this global health crisis while chipping away at underlying economic inequalities." 

The letter was sent to House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote Clinton, Pelosi holding online Women's Day fundraiser with Chrissy Teigen, Amanda Gorman What good are the intelligence committees? MORE (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC This week: Senate takes up coronavirus relief after minimum wage setback Trump calls on Republicans to 'get rid' of Cheney, other GOP critics MORE (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJudiciary Committee greenlights Garland's AG nomination This week: Senate takes up coronavirus relief after minimum wage setback Juan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP MORE (R-Ky.), and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFirst Black secretary of Senate sworn in Republican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote The bizarre back story of the filibuster MORE (D-N.Y.). Pelosi has expressed interest in including additional direct payments in a future coronavirus package.