May 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats propose $2,000 monthly coronavirus payments

Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) will propose a bill Friday that would give most Americans a monthly $2,000 payment until the coronavirus pandemic ends, Politico reports.

Why it matters: The proposal — coming from some of the biggest Democratic names in the Senate — is one of the most expensive put forward so far in Congress, which is taking its time before moving forward with its next stimulus package.

  • CNN notes that few Senate Republicans have voiced support for expanded monthly payments after the CARES Act included a one-time payment of $1,200 to most Americans.

How it works: Americans who make less than $120,000 would receive a $2,000 emergency payment each month, and couples filing their taxes jointly could receive as much as $4,000. Those with children would receive an additional $2,000 per child — up to three children.

  • Under the plan, the payments would be retroactive to March and would last until three months after HHS declares the current public health emergency over.

What they're saying:

  • Harris said that Congress' relief efforts so far are not "nearly enough to meet the needs of this historic crisis."
  • Sanders said that "the one-time $1,200 check that many Americans recently received is not nearly enough to pay the rent, put food on the table and make ends meet," adding that "Congress has a responsibility to make sure that every working-class household in America receives a $2,000 emergency payment a month for each family member."

Go deeper: There's no end in sight to coronavirus stimulus spending

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus death toll crosses 100,000

Data: Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a terrible milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: The death toll from COVID-19 now stands at more than 34 times the number of people who died on 9/11.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

About 40.7 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began, including 2.1 million more claims filed from last week.

Why it matters: Even as states reopen their economies, Americans are still seeking relief. Revised data out Thursday also showed U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimate of 4.8%.

Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Live music was an early casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, and independent venues across the country are especially at risk as the crisis drags on.

Why it matters: These venues are accessible cultural spaces and key economic drivers, and no one in the industry, from bands to bookers to bartenders, knows when things will return to normal.