$2,000 a month
We all know these are rough times. Whether you have been laid off or had your hours cut, chances are you know someone who has directly been affected by the pandemic and the response to it.
Earlier this year, Congress stepped up and provided some relief that was needed including a $1,200 direct cash payment for most Americans, as well as expanded and increased unemployment compensation (even though it took the Oregon Employment Department an inexcusable amount of time to get that money into the hands of people who need it).
Democrats in Congress have tried multiple times to continue and expand these programs but were shot down by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
As COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Oregon and across the country, causing restaurants, gyms, and other local businesses to shut down, additional relief for families and small businesses is urgent.
Congress must once again come together to provide assistance to those who are being impacted by our necessary fight against the virus.
In my opinion, the best way to provide that help is with a monthly direct cash payment of $2,000 a month for at least the next 6 months. This will help people make ends meet until we have a vaccine and can start returning to a normal life.
We know that the earlier $1,200 helped people pay for groceries, utilities, housing, and other essentials as they went through rough times. Making these payments on a limited ongoing basis will not only help the broader economy but more importantly, it will help our people get through a winter season that will be extremely hard for many businesses that may no longer be able to operate outdoors.
I have been working with former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and members of Congress to not only design this policy but make sure we analyze and use the data to explore a system of ongoing direct cash payments, which some call Universal Basic Income (UBI).
No doubt we are in a crisis and it appears it will get worse before it gets better. My hope is that my colleagues agree and we can get assistance to those who need it.