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Coronavirus stimulus checks: Omar proposes $1,200 monthly guaranteed income

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There is now a new twist in the demand for a fourth stimulus check. Over the past few months, there was no interest shown by any lawmakers, and thus, it was believed that another round of stimulus checks would be highly unlikely. However, Representative Ilhan Omar, along with other progressive Democratic lawmakers, has reignited the discussion over another round of coronavirus stimulus checks.

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Coronavirus stimulus checks: Omar wants to send regular payments

Last week, Omar and other progressive Democratic lawmakers came up with a new proposal, called the SUPPORT Act. If approved, it would allocate $2.5 billion to support guaranteed income pilot programs across the U.S. These pilot programs would be carried out between 2023 and 2027, and its result will be used to create a national program in 2028.

This national program would promise $1,200 monthly payments to those earning less than $75,000 annually ($112,500 for households). Moreover, eligible dependents would get $600 regular checks.

Additionally, the proposal also plans to send stimulus checks to Americans without bank accounts, as well as to undocumented immigrants who have an ITIN number, and also to people experiencing housing instability.

Omar announced the proposal in a press release, as well as shared details on it via a Twitter post. The SUPPORT Act stands for Sending Unconditional Payments to People Overcoming Resistances to Triumph.

“Poverty is a choice. It’s time we prioritize new economic indicators and economic policies that will prioritize sustainable and equitable growth,” she said in a statement.

Other progressive Democratic lawmakers to endorse this proposal are: Jamaal Bowman of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania, Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Marie Newman of Illinois.

Not coronavirus checks, but guaranteed income

The SUPPORT Act, if approved, would start sending the payments in 2028. So, it isn’t technically right to call this payment coronavirus stimulus checks. However, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the financial hardships that people faced during the pandemic served as an inspiration for such a proposal.

"For too long we have prioritized endless growth while millions are homeless, hungry or without healthcare," Omar said. "The pandemic has laid bare these inequalities.”

Moreover, the structure of this guaranteed income plan is similar to the three stimulus checks that Congress had sent so far since the start of the pandemic last year.

It would be interesting to see if Omar's proposal is able to win support in Congress. This is not the first time someone has come up with a guaranteed income plan. Andrew Yang, the former Democratic presidential candidate, proposed a similar program during his unsuccessful 2020 campaign. Yang proposed a "Freedom Dividend" program that promised $1,000 per month for all Americans.

Such programs enjoy wide public support as well. A Change.org petition, which calls for regular stimulus checks until the pandemic ends, has already got more than 2.7 million signatures.