Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Tuesday called for the United States government to give paychecks to American households in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic — a general proposal thoroughly championed by the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force.
Sanders addressed the nation, outlining the steps he believes the U.S. government needs to take in its continued response to the global pandemic. The presidential hopeful floated $2,000 monthly payments to American households — a concept President Trump publicly backed during Tuesday’s press briefing at the White House alongside his administration’s coronavirus task force.
“Further, we need to provide a direct emergency $2,000 cash payment to every household in America every month for the duration of the crisis to provide them with the assistance they need to pay their bills and take care of their families,” Sanders said:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin detailed the administration’s pitch to deliver direct payments to American workers in the midst of the ongoing crisis.
“We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Mnuchin said:
“Americans need cash now, and the president wants to get cash now,” he continued, adding that it’s “clear” the administration does not need to “send people who make millions of dollars a year checks.”
“I think we’re going to do something that gets money to them as quickly as possible. That may not be an accurate way of doing it, because obviously some people shouldn’t be getting checks for $1000,” Trump remarked.
“But we’ll have a pretty good idea by the end of the day what we’re going to be doing,” the president added.
Sanders also called for emergency unemployment assistance, offering 100 percent of an individual’s prior salary with a cap of $75,000 per year. Altogether, Sanders estimated that the response for this “unprecedented moment” will cost roughly $2 trillion.