Because millions are struggling to afford food, rent, and other basic expenses amid the pandemic, Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Pramila Jayapal reintroduced the Automatic BOOST to Communities (ABC) Act.
The ABC Act would provide a $2,000 payment to every person in America as critical relief during the COVID-19 crisis, followed by $1,000 recurring monthly payments throughout the ongoing pandemic. Payments would continue for one year after the end of the crisis to help our country and families recover. The ABC Act would be funded directly from the Treasury with no additional debt issued by minting two $1 trillion coins, and additional coins as necessary.
The ABC Act would also uplift 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. Unlike a payroll tax cut, which would do little to benefit our most vulnerable workers, the ABC Act would put real money in the pockets of people across the country.
“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,” said Congresswoman Tlaib. “Folks need far more aid to pay their bills, purchase groceries, keep a roof over their heads, and other needs essential to maintaining a quality of life. The ABC Act is just that, designed to help cushion these blows during and after this global health crisis while chipping away at economic inequality in our society during the pandemic.”
The ABC Act would also create a program of emergency responder corps to be deployed to vulnerable communities to ensure they have access to the direct payments and other needed resources.
“One in seven families don’t have enough to eat. More than eight million people have been pushed into poverty. Nearly one million new people are filing for unemployment every single week,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “This unprecedented moment demands an unprecedented response. People don’t only need relief, they need stability, certainty, and predictability and the ABC Act delivers them exactly that. 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.”
According to polling released by Data for Progress and the Justice Collaborative Institute last year, there is strong bipartisan support among people in the country for payments on a recurring basis, with 66% of the public preferring recurring payments of $2,000 until a year after the President declares an end to the federal state of emergency. The poll also revealed that a majority of voters, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, support financing recurring UBI payments by instructing the U.S. Treasury to issue two trillion dollars of new currency.
The bill was originally introduced last year, shortly after Congresswoman Tlaib recently led 57 members of Congress in a bicameral push for including recurring payments as part of Congress’s next economic response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The ABC Act proposes financing the payments with an unconventional plan that would direct the Treasury Department to use its legal authority to mint as many $1 trillion platinum coins as necessary to fund the legislation, which would continue until a year after the public health emergency ends or the unemployment rate stabilizes at a low level.
The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Chuy Garcia, Hastings, Norton, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, Watson Coleman, Bush, and Bowman.
The bill is also endorsed by Economic Security Project Action, Demand Progress, The Jain Family Institute, Community Change Action, Strong Economy for All, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, Detroit People’s Platform, ACCESS, and Mothering Justice.