On Monday, Senator Mitt Romney proposed giving every adult $1,000 per month in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
If the proposal sounds familiar, it is probably because it is the very idea former Democratic presidential candidate and now CNN contributor Andrew Yang had pitched just months prior. Only Yang’s was as a universal basic income for every adult, every month he was in the White House—should he have won the presidency.
But, now the idea is Romney’s.
.@SenatorRomney proposes giving every adult American $1,000 a month during the coronavirus outbreak
— Thomas Burr (@thomaswburr) March 16, 2020
“We also urgently need to build on this legislation with additional action to help families and small businesses meet their short-term financial obligations, ease the financial burden on students entering the workforce, and protect health workers on the front lines and their patients by improving telehealth services,” Romney said in a statement concerning the monthly stipend and a handful of other proposals, the Hill reports.
The money would help “ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy,” Romney continued.
In a follow-up statement, Romney’s office said the idea has been pitched and incorporated in the past.
“Congress took similar action during the 2001 and 2008 recessions. While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options,” the office said per the report.
The problem here is 1000 barely scratches the surface. Tens of millions are staring down the barrel of rent cost, credit card payments, loans, etc
Thats where the money will go, not to any meaningful consumer spending
We are not comprehending how bad things are economically https://t.co/c2yaulLG9b
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) March 16, 2020
Senator Romney, welcome to the R̶e̶s̶i̶s̶t̶a̶n̶c̶e̶ Yang Gang. https://t.co/0VHilHRfea
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) March 16, 2020
The Hill reports the Senate is in discussions on how best to respond to the coronavirus, specifically how to best alleviate the financial impact it will likely have:
Concerns about the worsening coronavirus outbreak in the United States, as well as growing restrictions on American businesses, injected fresh turmoil into the market Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking 2,442 points during intraday trading.
The House passed a second coronavirus package early Saturday morning, but some GOP senators have raised concerns that it doesn’t do enough to help small businesses or get money to Americans to help them cover short-term costs, particularly if they are laid off.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he expected senators would want to move “swiftly” on the House bill, but that discussions were already underway about potential “next steps.”