Vulnerable Senate Democrat Reignites Demand for $2,000 Monthly Stimulus Checks

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) on Monday once again urged Congress to issue monthly stimulus checks to “every person in our country” as the economy founders due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

Markey’s proposal calls for direct payments of “$2000/month for the duration of the pandemic, $2000/month for 3 months after that, and $2000/month retroactive to March,” he wrote on Twitter.

Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Markey, currently locked in a tightening primary challenge by Representative Joe Kennedy (MA), joined Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris (D-CA) in June to float the idea.

Markey also wants to tax billionaires to cover Americans’ health care expenses for one year. Markey, Sanders, and fellow Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) introduced the Make Billionaires Pay Act last Thursday to do just that.

If enacted into law (a highly unlikely outcome thanks to Republican obstruction and callous indifference toward working class people), the legislation would “establish a 60% tax on the gains in wealth billionaires made between March 18th, 2020 and January 1, 2021” and “empower Medicare to pay for the out-of-pocket healthcare expenses of all Americans for one year,” Sanders wrote in a statement.

Tens of millions of cash-strapped Americans had their finanial lifelines severed when the $600 per week federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program expired on July 31 because Senate Republicans refused to negotiate with Democrats.

On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that she offered to knock a trillion dollars off the price of the HEROES Act – a $3.4 trillion dollar bill passed by the House in May that has sat on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) desk for nearly three months – if Republicans agree to add a trillion dollars to their plan.

But the White House’s negotiators – Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – refused to budge.

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