MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- In a letter to President Joe Biden this week, Rep. Ilhan Omar called for him to include in his COVID-19 relief package recurring monthly payments of $2,000.
"People across Minnesota and the entire country are suffering," the congresswoman wrote in a statement released by her office. "Millions remain out of work and countless more have had their hours cut or income dry up as a result of the pandemic. A one-time payment of $2,000 is simply not enough."
Omar's letter to the president was also signed by more than 50 other U.S. representatives, including fellow Squad members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
In her letter, Omar says the recurring payments of $2,000 will help ensure that people at the bottom of the economic ladder can make ends meet during the pandemic. She also says this solution will be racially equitable and shorten the length of the recession to follow.
"As we look at the coming year, another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities," Omar wrote in the letter. "One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis. Many families cannot afford to wait for eight months between payments. To truly build back better, families need stability and certainty through ongoing relief – they cannot be at the mercy of Congressional gridlock."
Specifically, Omar is calling for the $2,000 monthly payments to continue until the pandemic ends and the economy recovers, to include immigrants workers, refugees and their families, to include dependents both young and old, and to prioritize those who need it most and will spend it the quickest.
As it stands, Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion relief package currently includes $1,400 one-time stimulus checks for Americans. When combined with the recent round of $600 payments, that brings the total stimulus for most Americans this year to $2,000. The president's plan also expands unemployment insurance by $100 a week and increases the child tax credit to $3,000 per child.
Democrats have a majority in the U.S. House and the slimmest possible majority in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving a tie-breaker. Congressional Democrats are considering passing the relief package through a process called budget reconciliation, which would not require any Republican votes.
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