With so many Americans out of work, many families are experiencing economic hardships. Parents are worried about a lot right now—their bank accounts, the coronavirus, the lasting impacts that poverty and stress in early childhood can have on brain development.
That's why interest in the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act by Sen. Kamala Harris is picking up. It's prompted headlines like "Families Could Receive Up To $10,000 During Coronavirus Crisis Under Senate Proposal" and while it's not quite that simple, the proposed bill (co-sponsored with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts' Ed Markey) could see families receiving stimulus packages for months. It's more similar to Canada's Emergency Response Benefit Emergency Response Benefit program than the one-time payments received under the Trump administration's CARES Act.
Harris is proposing $2,000 a month per individual (or $4,000 for couples who file joint taxes) plus $2,000 for each child for up to three kids. The payments would be retroactive to the beginning of the pandemic in March and would continue for three months post-pandemic.
In theory, a family could get $10,000 a month, but it should be noted that you would need at least three kids to get that much and that only people making less than $120,000 annually will qualify. If you make more than $100,000, the payments would be reduced.
More than 1.2 million people have signed a petition calling for recurring economic support during this crisis. Harris plans to share the petition with fellow Senators while proposing the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act.
"Forty million–plus people lost their jobs within the last 100 days," Harris said during a town hall for The Appeal this week. "The government should be here for the people in a moment of crisis. People should be able to count on their government to see them and to create a safety net for them, so that these people don't fall into poverty—or further into poverty—during the course of this pandemic."
Critics suggest Harris's plan is too costly, too broad and should be targeted to lower-income earners and is unlikely to be supported by her Republican colleagues.
The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act is not the only proposal on the table right now. Others are still considering sending out another round of $1,200 stimulus checks or extending supplemental unemployment benefits into 2021.