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RELEASE: Representatives Ro Khanna and Tim Ryan Introduce Legislation to Send Americans Additional Cash Payments

April 14, 2020
Press Release
Legislation provides $2,000 per month through the economic crisis, for up to 12 months

Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Ro Khanna (CA-17) and Tim Ryan (OH-13) introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act to provide additional cash payments for hard-working Americans who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the CARES Act was an important first step, its one-time payment does not provide nearly enough support for American families.

The Emergency Money for the People Act expands relief to more Americans and includes a $2,000 monthly payment to every qualifying American over the age of 16 for up to 12 months. It also fixes a bug in the CARES Act to ensure college students and adults with disabilities can still receive the payments even if claimed as a dependent. The Emergency Money for the People Act additionally recognizes that not everyone has a bank or a home address to receive a check –  so it allows individuals to get this money through direct deposit, check, pre-paid debit card, or mobile money platforms such as Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal.

“A one-time, twelve-hundred-dollar check isn’t going to cut it,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “Americans need sustained cash infusions for the duration of this crisis in order to come out on the other side alive, healthy, and ready to get back to work. Members on both sides of the aisle are finally coming together around the idea of sending money out to people. Rep. Ryan and I are urging leadership to include this bill in the fourth COVID relief package to truly support the American working class.”

“The economic impact of this virus is unprecedented for our country. As millions of Americans file for unemployment week over week, we have to work quickly to patch the dam – and that means putting cash in the hands of hard-working families,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Many Ohioans are just receiving – or about to receive – the first cash payment we passed in the CARES Act. Now it’s time for Congress to get to work on the next step to provide relief for those who have been hardest hit in this pandemic.”

Under the Emergency Money for the People Act, monthly cash assistance payments would be guaranteed for at least six months and would renew for another six months unless the employment-to-population ratio for people ages 16 and older returns to the pre-covid crisis employment level of 60%. These payments would not count as income in order to protect eligibility for any of the income-based state or federal government assistance programs. 

Eligibility:

  • Every American age 16 and older making less than $130,000 annually would receive at least $2,000 per month.
  • Married couples earning less than $260,000 would receive at least $4,000 per month.
  • Qualifying families with children will receive an additional $500 per child – families will receive funds for up to three children.
  • For example, a married couple making under $260K with 3 kids would receive $5,500 per month.
  • Those who had no earnings, were unemployed, or are currently unemployed would also be eligible.
  • Those who were not eligible in 2019 or 2018 but would be eligible in 2020, could submit at least two consecutive months of paychecks to verify income eligibility.
  • The Emergency Money for the People Act also expands the program to millions more Americans who were excluded from the CARES cash rebates – such as college students and adults with disabilities who are still claimed as a dependent. The individual will receive the payment and their parent or guardian will receive the dependent credit.

Reps. Khanna and Ryan proposed the first cash infusion plan a month ago, which the Administration and Senate Republicans embraced, and was passed into law with the CARES Act. But as a record-number of Americans have filed for unemployment in the past weeks, it’s clear a one-time payment will not be remotely sufficient. In some places, this doesn’t even cover a month’s rent.

Original Co-sponsors: Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Judy Chu (CA-27), Diana DeGette (CO-1), Mike Doyle (PA-18), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Joe Neguse (CO-2), Mary, Gay Scanlon (PA-5), Darren Soto (FL-9), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Nydia Velázquez (NY-7), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Grace Meng (NY- 6), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), and Barbara Lee (CA-13).

Full bill text can be found here.

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About the Office

Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.