A pair of Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation this week that would provide long-term financial relief to Americans without increasing the deficit.
Republicans hypocritically opposed the American Rescue Plan because they suddenly cared about the debt again as soon as President Joe Biden took office. The legislation passed via reconciliation without a single Republican vote in Congress and was signed by Biden, who praised the new law for shifting our economic policy away from the failed trickle-down economics that conservatives have forced upon the nation for decades.
Americans are now getting desperately needed financial relief, but Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) have unveiled a plan that would provide Americans with additional checks for several months during and after the pandemic paid for with a bold idea that would undermine the fake debt concerns of Republicans.
Known as the Automatic BOOST to Communities Act or ABC Act for short, the legislation would provide $2,000 monthly payments to every American until the pandemic is over and then an additional $1,000 every month thereafter, giving Americans the aid they should have been receiving for the last year and that other developed nations have provided their own people during this crisis.
As for how it will be paid for, Tlaib and Jayapal are proposing that the U.S. Mint strike coins with a monetary value set at $1 trillion per coin. The coins would then be deposited at the Federal Reserve and the money would be used to pay the costs of the legislation without adding to the debt. It’s an idea that has been floated before and has support.
The important thing, however, is that this bill would focus entirely on the American people instead of the wealthy and corporations, both of which received trillions in aid during the pandemic despite not really needing it.
“In the last year of this global pandemic, we have seen corporations and CEOs reap the benefits of payouts and soaring profits while everyday workers, low-income people,and families across the country have been left to scrape by without any recurring, aggressive, and inclusive financial assistance from our federal government. Folks need far more aid,” Tlaib said.
Jayapal followed up by noting that people need more help than our government has already provided.
“People don’t only need relief, they need stability, certainty, and predictability, and the ABC Act delivers them exactly that,” Jayapal said. “Our legislation acknowledges that a one-time survival check isn’t enough to get people through this crisis. Instead, we send out recurring checks every month during the crisis and for a year after it ends. That is money in people’s pockets, and certainty in their lives.”
Indeed, imagine being a struggling American who has been out of work for a year because of the pandemic. Your rent is overdue, you face eviction, you’re struggling to simply put food on the table for your family, and a one time payment is just not enough to cover your needs. Millions of Americans face this reality, and the ABC Act would actually lift them out of that reality so they can breathe normally again. All of a sudden, they can count on receiving $1,000 a month, and that money would immediately stimulate the economy, particularly local economies that have needed a boost for years.
That’s why the Working Families Party (WFP) has fully endorsed the bill.
“The ABC Act would provide the type of relief at the scale and consistency that people actually need,” WFP National Director Maurice Mitchell said. “This is a transformational piece of legislation and it has our full support.”
Obviously, Republicans will likely oppose this bill no matter what, even though it would help their own constituents tremendously. After all, they oppose any bill that would actually help the American people because they want to sabotage Biden. But Democrats could use reconciliation again to push it through just as Republicans used reconciliation to jam through their tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations in 2017. Unlike those tax cuts, the ABC Act would actually have a positive impact on the economy and help Americans who have been struggling to get by.
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