After months of waning interest in stimulus relief, a Democratic congresswoman has introduced a bill that would send monthly checks to many Americans in the form of a guaranteed income.
The Sending Unconditional Payments to People Overcoming Resistances to Triumph (SUPPORT) Act, sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), would send $1,200 per month to single taxpayers making less than $75,000 annually and married taxpayers earning less than $150,000 per year. The bill would also distribute $600 per month per dependent to families with children.
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For Americans making more, the relief would phase out by $5 for every $100 in income, cutting off completely for those making $100,000 per year (if single) and $200,000 per year (if married filing jointly). There would be no cap on the number of dependents.
To be eligible for guaranteed income, recipients would need to have lived in the U.S. for at least 18 months and be considered a resident and non-dependent for tax purposes.
Important to note is that, if the bill were to move forward, monthly checks would trickle out in local pilot programs starting in 2023 but wouldn’t launch in full until January 2028.
Omar’s bill has a handful of co-sponsors and endorsements, including from Reps. Marie Newman (D-Illinois) and Jamaal Bowman (D-New York). Other progressive lawmakers have pitched additional relief, either via a fourth stimulus check or ongoing monthly payments, throughout the pandemic. Advocates of these proposals say they would have a significant impact on reducing poverty.
However, as the economy has shown signs of improvement, states have wound down supplemental unemployment benefits and the Biden administration has turned its focus to priorities like the infrastructure bill just approved in the Senate. There’s little indication at this point that either guaranteed income or further stimulus relief would gain widespread support.